curtal

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French courtault (now courtaud), from court ‘short’ + -ault pejorative suffix.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

curtal (plural curtals)

  1. (historical) A variety of short-barrelled cannon.
  2. (obsolete) A horse or other animal having a docked tail.
  3. (music) An early type of bassoon.

Adjective[edit]

curtal (comparative more curtal, superlative most curtal)

  1. (obsolete) Of horses, having a docked tail.
  2. (now rare) Physically shortened; short.
    • 1969, Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or Ardor, Penguin 2011, p. 98:
      she had loosened her hair and changed into the curtal frock of sunbright cotton that he was so fond of and had so ardently yearned to soil in the so recent past.
  3. (obsolete) Abridged, curtailed.
    • Milton
      Essays and curtal aphorisms.

Derived terms[edit]