- 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.)
verb (used with object)
- curtail step,
- curtain call,
- curtain lecture,
- curtain line,
- curtain raiser,
- curtain shutter
- 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
Regional variation note
Examples from the Web for curtain
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
The insurrectionists seemed actors in a surreal episode of revolutionary play-acting in which the curtain was about to fall.
“It was like a curtain was beginning to be opened,” says Noor, who was surprised by the blunt request.Obama’s Deadly Informants: The Drone Spotters of Pakistan|Umar Farooq, Syed Fakhar Kakakhel|November 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
So, what might have occurred on the other side of the curtain?
From behind a curtain, Trudeau is politely coaching the actors through the scene, encouraging them to go bigger.Inside the Political Fun House: How ‘Alpha House’ Became Amazon’s First Big Hit|Kevin Fallon|October 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Coupeau moved the chairs forward and seated Gervaise by the curtain.L'Assommoir|Emile Zola
When I responded to a call before the curtain, she gravely handed me her bunch of roses.Stage Confidences|Clara Morris
I looked behind the curtain and saw that the sides and bottom were cushioned to diminish the effect of jolting.Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar Life|Thomas Wallace Knox
At length the tragedy terminated, the curtain dropped, and the audience began to move about.Afloat And Ashore|James Fenimore Cooper
Looking over when he had finished that pipeful––I had not drawn my curtain––he caught my eyes on him.The Seiners|James B. (James Brendan) Connolly
Word Origin for curtain
c.1300, from Old French cortine "curtain, tapestry, drape, blanket," from Late Latin cortina "curtain," but in classical Latin "round vessel, cauldron," from Latin cortem (older cohortem) "enclosure, courtyard" (see cohort). The confusion apparently begins in using cortina as a loan-translation for Greek aulaia ("curtain") in the Vulgate (to render Hebrew yeriah in Exodus xxvi:1, etc.) because the Greek word was connected to aule "court," perhaps because the "door" of a Greek house that led out to the courtyard was a hung cloth. The figurative sense in curtain call is from 1884. Curtains "the end" is 1912, originally from stage plays.
In addition to the idioms beginning with curtain
- curtain raiser
- curtains for, be.
- draw the curtain
- raise the curtain
- ring down the curtain