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English Wikipedia has an article on:
curb, gutter and storm drain

Alternative forms[edit]

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


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.
    • 1642, [John Denham], The Sophy. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] M[acock] for H[enry] Herringman, [], published 1667, →OCLC, Act IV, pages [44A]–45:
      Even by theſe Men, Religion, that ſhould be / The curb, is made the ſpur to tyranny: / They with their double key of conſcience bind / The Subjects ſouls, and leave Kings unconfin'd; []
    • 1643, John Milton, Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce:
      The same also is that burning mention’d by S. Paul, whereof mariage ought to be the remedy; the Flesh hath other naturall and easie curbs which are in the power of any temperate man..
    • 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.
    • 1877, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty: [], London: Jarrold and Sons, [], →OCLC:
      Captain went out in the cab all the morning. Harry came in after school to feed me and give me water. In the afternoon I was put into the cab. Jerry took as much pains to see if the collar and bridle fitted comfortably as if he had been John Manly over again. When the crupper was let out a hole or two it all fitted well. There was no check-rein, no curb, nothing but a plain ring snaffle. What a blessing that was!
  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.
    Synonyms: behedge, curtail, limit; see also Thesaurus:curb
    Curb your dog
    • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], →OCLC, (please specify the page):
      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.
    Synonyms: bow, flex, incurvate; see also Thesaurus:bend
    • 1603, Plutarch, “The Third Booke of Philosophers Opinions. Chap. V. Of the Rainbow.”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Philosophie, Commonlie Called, The Morals [], London: [] Arnold Hatfield, →OCLC, page 828:
      [B]y crooked and curbed lines, wee looke within the water; for our eie ſight doth bend and turne againe perforce, by reason that the matter of the water is more thicke; which is the cauſe, that we ſee the mariners oare in the ſea a farre off, as it were crooked.
  8. (intransitive) To crouch; to cringe.
    Synonyms: bend, fawn, stoop


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]



Borrowed from French courbe.


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

  1. curve