• synonyms


[ kur-tn ]
/ ˈkɜr tn /


verb (used with object)

to provide, shut off, conceal, or adorn with, or as if with, a curtain.


Ludicrous vs. RidiculousLudicrous means something is silly enough to cause amusement. Ridiculous means it’s absurd enough to invite mockery or derision.


extinction, death, exit

Nearby words

curst, curt, curtail, curtail step, curtailment, curtain, curtain call, curtain lecture, curtain line, curtain raiser, curtain shutter


    draw the curtain on/over,
    1. to bring to a close: to draw the curtain on a long career of public service.
    2. to keep secret.
    lift the curtain on,
    1. to commence; start.
    2. to make known or public; disclose: to lift the curtain on a new scientific discovery.

Origin of curtain

1250–1300; Middle English co(u)rtine < Anglo-French, Old French < Late Latin cortīna, probably equivalent to co(ho)rt- (stem of cohors; see court) + -īna -ine1, as calque of Greek aulaía curtain, derivative of aulḗ courtyard
Related formscur·tain·less, adjectiveun·cur·tained, adjective

Synonym study

1, 3. Curtain, blind, shade, shutter agree in being covers for a window, to shut out light or keep persons from looking in. Curtain, blind, and shade may mean a cover, usually of cloth, which can be rolled up and down inside the window. Curtain, however, may also refer to a drapery at a window; and a Venetian blind consists of slats mounted on tapes for drawing up or down and varying the pitch of the slats. Blind and shutter may mean a cover made of two wooden frames with movable slats, attached by hinges outside a window and pulled together or opened at will. Shutters may mean also a set of panels (wooden or iron) put up outside small shops or stores at closing time

Regional variation note

3. See window shade. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curtains

British Dictionary definitions for curtains (1 of 2)


/ (ˈkɜːtənz) /

pl n

informal death or ruin; the endif the enemy see us it will be curtains for us
a hairstyle in which the hair is parted in the centre of the forehead and curved out over the temples

British Dictionary definitions for curtains (2 of 2)


/ (ˈkɜːtən) /



(tr sometimes foll by off) to shut off or conceal with or as if with a curtain
(tr) to provide (a window, etc) with curtains
See also curtains

Word Origin for curtain

C13: from Old French courtine, from Late Latin cortīna enclosed place, curtain, probably from Latin cohors courtyard
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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with curtains


In addition to the idioms beginning with curtain

  • curtain raiser
  • curtains for, be.

also see:

  • draw the curtain
  • raise the curtain
  • ring down the curtain
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.