WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
cur•tain /ˈkɜrtən/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Furniturea hanging piece of fabric used to shut out the light from a window, decorate a room, etc.
  2. Show Business
    • Show Businessa movable drapery that hangs in front of a stage and conceals it from the audience.
    • Show Businessthe start or end of a performance, scene, act, or play, esp. the time at which a performance begins:The curtain is at seven o'clock.
  3. anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals:a curtain of artillery fire; a curtain of darkness.
  4. Slang Termscurtains, [it + be + ~]the end;
    death, esp. by violence:As the gunmen surrounded him, he knew it was curtains.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
cur•tain  (kûrtn),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Furniturea hanging piece of fabric used to shut out the light from a window, adorn a room, increase privacy, etc.
  2. Furniturea movable or folding screen used for similar purposes.
  3. Dialect Terms[Chiefly New Eng.]a window shade.
  4. Show Business[Theat.]
    • Show Businessa set of hanging drapery for concealing all or part of the stage or set from the view of the audience.
    • Show Businessthe act or time of raising or opening a curtain at the start of a performance:an 8:30 curtain.
    • the end of a scene or act indicated by the closing or falling of a curtain:first-act curtain.
    • an effect, line, or plot solution at the conclusion of a performance:a strong curtain; weak curtain.
    • music signaling the end of a radio or television performance.
    • (used as a direction in a script of a play to indicate that a scene or act is concluded.)
  5. anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals:a curtain of artillery fire.
  6. Architecturea relatively flat or featureless extent of wall between two pavilions or the like.
  7. [Fort.]the part of a wall or rampart connecting two bastions, towers, or the like.
  8. Slang Termscurtains, the end;
    death, esp. by violence:It looked like curtains for another mobster.
  9. Idiomsdraw the curtain on or  over: 
    • to bring to a close:to draw the curtain on a long career of public service.
    • to keep secret.
  10. Idiomslift the curtain on: 
    • to commence;
      start.
    • to make known or public;
      disclose:to lift the curtain on a new scientific discovery.

v.t. 
  1. to provide, shut off, conceal, or adorn with, or as if with, a curtain.
curtain•less, adj. 
  • Late Latin cortīna, probably equivalent. to co(ho)rt- (stem of cohors; see court) + -īna -ine1, as calque of Greek aulaía curtain, derivative of aulé̄ courtyard
  • Anglo-French, Old French
  • Middle English co(u)rtine 1250–1300
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged drapery, portiere, lambrequin, valance.
    • 1, 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Curtain, blind, shade, shutter agree in being covers for a window, to shut out light or keep persons from looking in.
      Curtain, blind, and
      shade may mean a cover, usually of cloth, which can be rolled up and down inside the window.
      Curtain, however, may also refer to a drapery at a window;
      and a Venetian
      blind consists of slats mounted on tapes for drawing up or down and varying the pitch of the slats.
      Blind and
      shutter may mean a cover made of two wooden frames with movable slats, attached by hinges outside a window and pulled together or opened at will.
      Shutters may mean also a set of panels (wooden or iron) put up outside small shops or stores at closing time.
    3. See  window shade. 


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

curtains /ˈkɜːtənz/ pl n
  1. informal death or ruin; the end



'curtains' also found in these entries:
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