curtail

1
[ker-teyl]

verb (used with object)

to cut short; cut off a part of; abridge; reduce; diminish.

Nearby words

  1. cursor,
  2. cursorial,
  3. cursory,
  4. curst,
  5. curt,
  6. curtail step,
  7. curtailment,
  8. curtain,
  9. curtain call,
  10. curtain lecture

Origin of curtail

1
1425–75; late Middle English curtailen to restrict (said of royal succession or inheritance), probably a conflation of Middle French courtau(l)d (see curtal) and Middle English taillen to cut (see taille, tailor1)

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curtailment


British Dictionary definitions for curtailment

curtail

verb

(tr) to cut short; abridge
Derived Formscurtailer, 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

Word Origin and History for curtailment

curtail

v.

late 15c., from Middle French courtault "made short," from court "short" (Old French cort, from Latin curtus; see curt) + -ault pejorative suffix of Germanic origin. Originally curtal; used of horses with docked tails, which probably influenced the spelling. Related: Curtailed; curtailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper