- 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
Synonyms for curtain
Regional variation note
Examples from the Web for curtains
Contemporary Examples of curtains
The site was blacked out at all times, with curtains and painted exterior windows.Inside the CIA’s Sadistic Dungeon
December 9, 2014
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
September 12, 2014
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?
April 20, 2014
Other than a glimpse of the curtains, little of the Cambridges' renovated Kensington Palace home can be seen in the photograph.Prince George's New Instagrammy Photos
March 30, 2014
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
December 6, 2013
Historical Examples of curtains
In her sleep she had seen it gliding among the pale heather-blossoms on her curtains.The Dream
There are probably no more doors, only curtains, so we shall have no trouble.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
He saw her go by, young and alert in the sunshine, and the May air stirred the curtains.The Incomplete Amorist
I got up at once, pulled back the curtains, and mumbled my rle while dressing.My Double Life
Lady N—— was indifferent to me, and how could I hang up her curtains in my memory?Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
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