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Alternative forms[edit]

  • kerb (British) (noun, and verb senses 3, 4 and 5 only)


From Middle French courbe (curve, curved object), from Latin curvus (bent, crooked, curved). Doublet of curve.



curb (plural curbs)

  1. (American spelling, Canadian spelling) A concrete margin along the edge of a road; a kerb (UK, Australia, New Zealand)
  2. A raised margin along the edge of something, such as a well or the eye of a dome, as a strengthening.
  3. Something that checks or restrains; a restraint.
    • 1641, John Denham, The Sophy
      Even by these Men, Religion, that should be / The Curb, is made the Spur to Tyranny.
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, “Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, in the Guardian[1]:
      She maintains that the internet should face similar curbs to TV because young people are increasingly living online. "It's totally different, someone at Google watching the video from the comfort of their office in San Francisco to someone from a council house in London, where this video is happening right outside their front door."
  4. A riding or driving bit for a horse that has rein action which amplifies the pressure in the mouth by leverage advantage placing pressure on the poll via the crown piece of the bridle and chin groove via a curb chain.
    • 1605, Michael Drayton, The Fourth Eclogue
      He that before ran in the pastures wild / Felt the stiff curb controul his angry jaws.
  5. (Canada, US) A sidewalk, covered or partially enclosed, bordering the airport terminal road system with adjacent paved areas to permit vehicles to off-load or load passengers.
  6. A swelling on the back part of the hind leg of a horse, just behind the lowest part of the hock joint, generally causing lameness.

Derived terms[edit]



curb (third-person singular simple present curbs, present participle curbing, simple past and past participle curbed)

  1. (transitive) To check, restrain or control.
    Curb your dog
    • 1718, Matthew Prior, Solomon on the Vanity of the World
      Where pinching want must curb her warm desires.
    • 2021 January 13, Dr Joseph Brennan, “Spectacular funiculars”, in RAIL, issue 922, page 53:
      But the village's growth was curbed by the cliffs that restricted onward exploration for visitors, while goods such as coal and lime, which had arrived by water, were being transported up the severe incline to the town of Lynton by horse and cart.
  2. (transitive) To rein in.
  3. (transitive) To furnish with a curb, as a well; to restrain by a curb, as a bank of earth.
  4. (transitive, slang) Ellipsis of curb stomp.
  5. (transitive) To bring to a stop beside a curb.
    • 2017, Dean Koontz, The Silent Corner, page 34:
      As had become her habit, Jane rove past her destination and curbed the car on a side street a block and a half away.
  6. (transitive) To damage vehicle wheels or tires by running into or over a pavement curb.
  7. (transitive) To bend or curve.
    • 1603, Philemon Holland (translator), The Philosophie, commonly called, the Morals (originally by Plutarch)
      crooked and curbed lines
  8. (intransitive) To crouch; to cringe.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]



From French courbe.


curb m or n (feminine singular curbă, masculine plural curbi, feminine and neuter plural curbe)

  1. curve