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Girl surrounded by curtains


From Old French cortine, from Latin cortina.



curtain (plural curtains)

  1. A piece of cloth covering a window, bed, etc. to offer privacy and keep out light.
  2. A similar piece of cloth that separates the audience and the stage in a theater.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, The Lisson Grove Mystery[1]:
      “H'm !” he said, “so, so—it is a tragedy in a prologue and three acts. I am going down this afternoon to see the curtain fall for the third time on what [...] will prove a good burlesque ; but it all began dramatically enough. It was last Saturday […] that two boys, playing in the little spinney just outside Wembley Park Station, came across three large parcels done up in American cloth. […]”
  3. (fortifications) The flat area of wall which connects two bastions or towers; the main area of a fortified wall.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Folio Society 2006, vol. 1, p. 220:
      Captain Rense, beleagring the Citie of Errona for us, [...] caused a forcible mine to be wrought under a great curtine of the walles []
  4. (euphemistic, also "final curtain") Death.
  5. (architecture) That part of a wall of a building which is between two pavilions, towers, etc.
  6. (obsolete, derogatory) A flag; an ensign.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Derived terms[edit]


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curtain (third-person singular simple present curtains, present participle curtaining, simple past and past participle curtained)

  1. To cover (a window) with a curtain; to hang curtains.


See also[edit]