- a set of hanging drapery for concealing all or part of the stage or set from the view of the audience.
- the act or time of raising or opening a curtain at the start of a performance: an 8:30 curtain.
- the end of a scene or act indicated by the closing or falling of a curtain: first-act curtain.
- an effect, line, or plot solution at the conclusion of a performance: a strong curtain; weak curtain.
- music signaling the end of a radio or television performance.
- (used as a direction in a script of a play to indicate that a scene or act is concluded.)
Idioms about curtain
- to bring to a close: to draw the curtain on a long career of public service.
- to keep secret.
- to commence; start.
- to make known or public; disclose: to lift the curtain on a new scientific discovery.
Origin of curtain
synonym study for curtain
regional variations of curtain
OTHER WORDS FROM curtaincur·tain·less, adjectiveun·cur·tained, adjective
Words nearby curtain
What does curtain mean?
A curtain is a sheet of fabric that’s typically hung from the wall or ceiling to cover or decorate a window or to separate two spaces, such as a theater’s stage from its seating area.
Along with blinds and shades, curtains are commonly used as window coverings in people’s homes. They can function to block light from the window, to cover it for privacy, or simply as decorations.
In the context of theater, curtain has several more specific uses. The literal curtain on a stage is used to conceal the stage until the performance is ready to be seen. The word is also used in a few figurative ways. It can refer to the starting time of a performance, as in Curtain is at 2 p.m. or We have a 7 o’clock curtain. This sense of the word refers to the when the literal curtain opens. Another sense of the word refers to when the curtain closes—it refers to the end of a scene or act, as in the second-act curtain. Curtain can also refer to the conclusion of a performance or a plot solution at the end, as in I liked the play, but I thought the curtain was weak.
The fact that most plays end with the stage curtains being closed has led to the use of the word curtains as a slang expression referring to the end or death of something, often in an exaggerated way, as in It will be curtains for me if I don’t pass this test.
A curtain call is when the performers return to the stage to acknowledge continued applause from the audience at the end of the performance (often after the curtain has closed).
Example: I got a blackout curtain for my room that doesn’t let any sunlight in.
Where does curtain come from?
The first records of the word curtain come from the 1200s. It comes from Late Latin cortīna, meaning “enclosed place,” probably from the Latin cohors, meaning “courtyard.”
Curtains are most commonly associated with their use around windows, but they can also be used to separate other areas. Roommates might place a curtain between their sides of the room for privacy. A shower curtain is used to separate the shower stall from the rest of the bathroom.
More generally, the word curtain can refer to anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals. It can also be used in a more specific way in the context of architecture to refer to a flat or featureless wall between two things.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to curtain?
- curtainless (adjective)
- uncurtained (adjective)
What are some synonyms for curtain?
What are some words that share a root or word element with curtain?
What are some words that often get used in discussing curtain?
How is curtain used in real life?
Curtains can be found in most homes. When used in the context of theater, the word curtain has many figurative meanings.
It is 83 degrees right now and rising.
I am sitting in my living room with my blackout curtain drawn so I don’t roast in my own skin.
What is happening
— ⚖️Imani Gandy ⚖️ (@AngryBlackLady) October 24, 2019
#breaking news my curtains are currently throwing shade at me… Should I be worried😁
— Liam (@LiamPayne) October 1, 2015
Reminder that new security arrangements in effect at Benedum Center. Easier than the airport but still a change. Allow a bit of extra time to make curtain. pic.twitter.com/4yrtugUKdu
— Bill Flanagan (@BillFlanagan) November 15, 2018
Try using curtain!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of curtain?
How to use curtain in a sentence
It also has pulled back the curtain on the significant limitations the IRS faces with technology and with its workforce.
There are curtains in an off-site storage facility going back to at least the 1960s, she says, carefully preserved and wrapped in muslin.Presidents come and go, but these curtains are forever|Jura Koncius|February 1, 2021|Washington Post
As the curtain of night falls, find the planet Mars high in the southwest heavens, hanging in the constellation Aries when February begins.Skywatch: What’s happening in the heavens in February|Blaine P. Friedlander Jr.|January 30, 2021|Washington Post
That too is changing as we come to understand the wizard behind the curtain.'We Need a Fundamental Reset.' Shoshana Zuboff on Building an Internet That Lets Democracy Flourish|Billy Perrigo|January 22, 2021|Time
That is changing as we come to understand the wizard behind the curtain.Big Tech's Business Model Is a Threat to Democracy. Here's How to Build a Fairer Digital Future|Billy Perrigo|January 22, 2021|Time
After the curtain calls, Christopher comes back to explain a complicated math problem.Hedwig, Hugh & Michael Cera: 12 Powerhouse Theater Performances of 2014|Janice Kaplan|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They keep their heads low while running behind a large curtain covering the opening between two housing blocks.
For anyone who cared to watch, the event and its denouement provided a graphic demonstration that the Iron Curtain was crumbling.
The last time a Pope addressed the parliament in Strasbourg was in 1988 when an Iron Curtain still divided the continent.
The insurrectionists seemed actors in a surreal episode of revolutionary play-acting in which the curtain was about to fall.
She walked away toward another door, which was masked with a curtain that she lifted.Confidence|Henry James
I seized the opportunity to watch what I supposed would be a most interesting interview, from behind a curtain.
She thrust a bare, white arm from the curtain which shielded her open door, and received the cup from his hands.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories|Kate Chopin
We haven't even seen a review of the piece; the footlights go up with a jump, and now the curtain rises.
The overture is over, the curtain is about to rise on the drama of Georgie's married life.
British Dictionary definitions for curtain
Word Origin for curtain
Other Idioms and Phrases with curtain
In addition to the idioms beginning with curtain
- curtain raiser
- curtains for, be.
- draw the curtain
- raise the curtain
- ring down the curtain