ring down the curtain

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In reference to ringing a bell to end a performance. See "ring up the curtain"


ring down the curtain (third-person singular simple present rings down the curtain, present participle ringing down the curtain, simple past rang down the curtain, past participle rung down the curtain)

  1. (idiomatic) To end something.
    • 1876, Josiah Gilbert Holland, ‎Richard Watson Gilder, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine - Volume 12, page 360:
      Ring down the curtain on To-day And give the Past the right of way, Till fields of battle red with rust, Shine through the ashes and the dust Across the Age, and burn as plain As glowing Mars through window-pane.
    • 1964, William Wasserstrom, Civil Liberties and the Arts: Selections from Twice a Year, 1938-48:
      And although he is impatient with the Beat pose, uniform, and rhetoric, he too disaffiliates himself and prepares to "ring down the curtain on the American dream."
    • 2000, Edward L. Shaughnessy, Down the Nights and Down the Days: Eugene O'Neill's Catholic Sensibility, →ISBN:
      Now Tyrone, in mixed charity and despair, tries to ring down the curtain on the tragic farce of his son's life.
    • 2000, Edward R. Kantowicz, Coming Apart, Coming Together, →ISBN, page 3:
      A visibly frail Roosevelt played his usual role of mediator between the pugnacious Churchill and the scowling tyrant Stalin. All three leaders left Yalta believing they had obtained the assurances they needed for the postwar world. Churchill rebutted any and all suggestions that the British ring down the curtain on their empire.
  2. (idiomatic) To mark the end of something.
    • 2006, Mark Twain, ‎Paul Fatout, Mark Twain Speaking, →ISBN, page 219:
      But tonight the Union veteran of Maryland clasps hands with the rebel veteran of Missouri, and the gap is closed. In this supreme moment the imperfect welding of the broken Union is perfected at last, and from this hour the seam of the joining shall no more be visible. The long tragedy is ended — ring down the curtain!
    • 2012 -, Nathanael West, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, →ISBN:
      Life is too difficult. O. Greenbaum, H. Knape, T. Kornflower, J. Davenport, all would agree that “Life is but the span from womb to tomb; a sigh, a smile; a chill, a fever; a throe of pain, a spasm of volupty: then a gasping for breath, and the comedy is over, the song is ended, ring down the curtain, the clown is dead.”
    • 2013, Steve Roper, Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber, →ISBN:
      The great natural routes in Yosemite have been done. The Wall of Early Morning Light merely rang down the curtain. —Jim McCarthy, 1971