adjective, curt·er, curt·est.

rudely brief in speech or abrupt in manner.
brief; concise; terse; laconic.
short; shortened.

Origin of curt

First recorded in 1620–30, curt is from the Latin word curtus shortened, short, cut short
Related formscurt·ly, adverbcurt·ness, noun

Synonyms for curt

Synonym study

2. See blunt. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curtness

Historical Examples of curtness

  • Her good-bye came with a curtness that might well have inspired consternation.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • To prove this he wilfully exaggerated his gruffness and curtness of manner.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • He paid absolutely no attention to the tone of my reply or its curtness.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • “No,” said Stirling, with a curtness at which Weston could not take offense.

    The Gold Trail

    Harold Bindloss

  • The curtness of their reply, proved to me that they had been discussing our interview.

British Dictionary definitions for curtness



rudely blunt and brief; abrupta curt reply
short or concise
Derived Formscurtly, adverbcurtness, noun

Word Origin for curt

C17: from Latin curtus cut short, mutilated
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 curtness



mid-14c., from Latin curtus "(cut) short, shortened, incomplete," from PIE root *(s)ker- "to cut" (see short (adj.)). Sense of "rude" is first recorded 1831. The Latin word was adopted early into most Germanic languages (cf. Icelandic korta, German kurz, etc.) and drove out the native words based on Proto-Germanic *skurt-, but English retains short.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper