- 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)
- 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 curtains
The site was blacked out at all times, with curtains and painted exterior windows.
The result looks like curtains of red and green beams in the night sky.The Sun Is Pummeling Earth. Now What? Solar Storms for Dummies|Lizzie Crocker|September 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Inside, cabinets of bones three rows high are concealed by curtains pinned with ribbons and handwritten messages.Did the Virgin Mary Warn Rwanda’s Holiest Town of the Genocide?|Nina Strochlic|April 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Other than a glimpse of the curtains, little of the Cambridges' renovated Kensington Palace home can be seen in the photograph.
In one, a father is upset that his children's clothes are made out of curtains.‘Sound of Music Live!’ Review: The Hills Are Barely Alive|Kevin Fallon|December 6, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Gallus told him and he vanished through the curtains, whence he returned presently, beckoning them to advance.Pearl-Maiden|H. Rider Haggard
A connoisseur (again on reference behind the curtains) was one of those wealthy men who could swallow anything.Bud|Neil Munro
Not only large substantial things like furniture, but curtains and the patterns of stuffs and the fringes of quilts and cushions.Bliss, and Other Stories|Katherine Mansfield
Your two poles supporting the roof may help you to partition off the sleeping places, either with boards or with curtains.With the Harmony to Labrador|Benjamin La Trobe
It terminated in a laugh, and they were suffered to proceed without the curtains having been withdrawn.Athelstane Ford|Allen Upward
British Dictionary definitions for curtains (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for curtains (2 of 2)
Word Origin for curtain
Word Origin and History for curtains
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.
Idioms and Phrases with curtains
In addition to the idioms beginning with curtain
- curtain raiser
- curtains for, be.
- draw the curtain
- raise the curtain
- ring down the curtain