raise the curtain


Also, lift the curtain.

1

Begin or start, as in It's time to raise the curtain, guys—start shoveling.

2

Make something public, disclose. In this sense, both terms often occur with on, as in We won't know what the new design is until they lift the curtain on it. Both usages, from the mid-1700s, allude to the curtain raised at the beginning of a theatrical performance, revealing the stage.

QUIZZES

WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.