1. a 16th-century bassoon.
  2. Obsolete. an animal with a docked tail.

Origin of curtal

1500–10; earlier courtault < Middle French, equivalent to court short (see curt) + -ault, variant of -ald noun suffix; see ribald Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for curtal

Historical Examples of curtal

British Dictionary definitions for curtal


  1. cut short
  2. (of friars) wearing a short frock
  1. an animal whose tail has been docked
  2. something that is cut short

Word Origin for curtal

C16: from Old French courtault animal whose tail has been docked, from court short, from Latin curtus; see curt
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