- informal death or ruin; the end
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- Furniturea hanging piece of fabric used to shut out the light from a window, decorate a room, etc.
- 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.
- anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals:a curtain of artillery fire; a curtain of darkness.
- Slang Termscurtains, [it + be + ~]the end;
death, esp. by violence:As the gunmen surrounded him, he knew it was curtains.
- Furniturea hanging piece of fabric used to shut out the light from a window, adorn a room, increase privacy, etc.
- Furniturea movable or folding screen used for similar purposes.
- Dialect Terms[Chiefly New Eng.]a window shade.
- 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.)
- anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals:a curtain of artillery fire.
- Architecturea relatively flat or featureless extent of wall between two pavilions or the like.
- [Fort.]the part of a wall or rampart connecting two bastions, towers, or the like.
- Slang Termscurtains, the end;
death, esp. by violence:It looked like curtains for another mobster.
- 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.
- Idiomslift the curtain on:
- to commence;
- to make known or public;
disclose:to lift the curtain on a new scientific discovery.
- to commence;
- to provide, shut off, conceal, or adorn with, or as if with, a curtain.
- 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.