curtail

2
[ kur-teyl ]
/ ˈkɜrˌteɪl /

noun Architecture.

a horizontal, spiral termination to the lower end of a stair railing.
Also called curtail step. a starting step having a scroll termination to one or both ends of the tread.

Origin of curtail

2
probably alteration, by folk etymology, of curtal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for curtail step (1 of 2)

curtail step

/ (ˈkɜːteɪl) /

noun

the step or steps at the foot of a flight of stairs, widened at one or both ends and terminated with a scroll

British Dictionary definitions for curtail step (2 of 2)

curtail

/ (kɜːˈteɪl) /

verb

(tr) to cut short; abridge

Derived Forms

curtailer, nouncurtailment, noun

Word Origin for curtail

C16: changed (through influence of tail 1) from obsolete curtal to dock; see curtal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012