View synonyms for iron curtain

iron curtain

or I·ron Cur·tain

[ ahy-ern kur-tn ]


  1. Usually the Iron Curtain. the Cold War barrier created by political, ideological, and military hostility between Western democracies on the one hand and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other, preventing mutual understanding and the exchange of ideas, travel, etc.: Compare bamboo curtain ( def ).

    Even when I was living behind the Iron Curtain, some popular music seeped through from the West.

  2. any barrier preventing the passage of ideas or understanding, especially an ideological, philosophical, or cultural barrier that divides countries, groups of people, or individuals:

    An iron curtain between theoreticians and creative artists prevented either group from appreciating the contributions of the other.

  3. an impenetrable barrier to communication or information imposed by rigid censorship or secrecy:

    The incident is a growing embarrassment for the country on the international stage, meaning that an iron curtain must fall on the subject.

  4. Theater. a safety curtain made of iron or other metal.

Iron Curtain


    1. (formerly) the guarded border between the countries of the Soviet bloc and the rest of Europe
    2. ( as modifier )

      Iron Curtain countries

Iron Curtain

  1. The former division between the communist nations of eastern Europe — the Eastern Bloc — and the noncommunist nations of western Europe. The term refers to the isolation that the Soviet Union imposed on its satellites in the Eastern Bloc and to the repressive measures of many Eastern Bloc governments. ( See Berlin Wall (see also Berlin Wall ) and cold war .)

Discover More


The expression Iron Curtain was coined by Winston Churchill , who was prime minister of Britain in World War II . Churchill first used the term soon after the war, when the Soviet Union was beginning to carry out its plans for postwar dominance of eastern Europe.

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of iron curtain1

Used in 1946 by Sir Winston Churchill to describe the line of demarcation between Western Europe and the Soviet zone of influence

Discover More

Example Sentences

For anyone who cared to watch, the event and its denouement provided a graphic demonstration that the Iron Curtain was crumbling.

The last time a Pope addressed the parliament in Strasbourg was in 1988 when an Iron Curtain still divided the continent.

Where are the writers who helped smuggle samizdat out from behind the Iron Curtain?

With the Iron Curtain solidly drawn around it, Estonia was struggling to make tourism ends meet in the decades after World War II.

Almost nothing has been touched since the fall of the USSR in 1991, providing an uncanny glimpse behind the Iron Curtain.

He had attended to a new curiosity on the part of another official of the County Council about the iron curtain.

Even your friends inside the Iron Curtain know that the only way to conquer a country is to smash it down to savagery.

But that was after Sputnik, and we didn't dare disregard any hints from the other side of the Iron Curtain.

You might be interested in a very peculiar tale our modern agents have picked up, floating over and under the iron curtain.

We just—you know, it's not very easy sometimes to talk to the people from behind the Iron Curtain.





Iron CrossIrondequoit