Definition of curtain in English:



  • 1A piece of material suspended at the top to form a screen, typically movable sideways along a rail and found as one of a pair at a window.

    ‘she drew the curtains and lit the fire’
    figurative ‘through the curtain of falling snow, she could just make out gravestones’
    • ‘She closed the windows and drew the curtains once more before grabbing a pair of red, high heels shoes and a brown coat from her closet.’
    • ‘Now it's time to draw back the curtains, open the windows, and get on with it.’
    • ‘An improvised curtain covered the window between the two rooms, so the intercom was the only means of communication.’
    • ‘A bearded man drew back the curtain over the window.’
    • ‘She might get a piece of material to make curtains for the kitchen window and some oilcloth for the table.’
    • ‘In Peter's parents' house, every window has a net curtain.’
    • ‘I can draw a window curtain or adjust overhead lights.’
    • ‘He began to draw the curtains across the screen, and to put the house lights on.’
    • ‘I locked my window and drew the curtain quickly afterwards.’
    • ‘Trying not to pull your hair out in irritation, you walk up to the window, draw the curtains, unlatch the window, push it open.’
    • ‘The men had tacked up a navy blue material to act as curtains over the stern windows.’
    • ‘When the sun fell in through the curtains of his bedroom window the next morning, she smiled listlessly.’
    • ‘Sienna followed him, and watched as he walked up to a large curtain along the left wall and drew it aside to reveal another room.’
    • ‘I look up the hill at the empty black window with the lace curtain.’
    • ‘Often the photographs are shot in bedrooms, next to a window with a curtain blowing from it, conveying the isolation of adolescence and the yearning for what lies beyond.’
    • ‘Aside from a pair of drab grey curtains which covered the window over the sink, the room was free of decorations.’
    • ‘There is a washbasin, a chair with a tatty dressing gown slung over it, and a window with the curtains drawn.’
    • ‘I have no doubt it now hangs over a window as a make-shift curtain or is draped on a wall.’
    • ‘You glance up to the window, curtains drawn to reveal the moon hanging in the clear night sky, gleaming softly.’
    • ‘I sighed and took one final look at the sky and then went inside my bedroom, shutting my window and my curtain so that I couldn't look outside anymore.’
    window hanging, hanging, screen, blind
    screen, cover, shield, cloak, veil, pall
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  • 2the curtainA screen of heavy cloth or other material that can be raised or lowered at the front of a stage.

    ‘he wants to see you directly the curtain comes down’
    • ‘That night, because Jocelyn's character didn't appear until the third scene, she stood on the side of the stage behind the curtain and peeked out quickly.’
    • ‘Perry sighed and started to walk behind the stage, where the curtain was closed and he was hid from view.’
    • ‘This neat device allows a smooth transition between the numerous scenes but the curtain goes up and down like a yo-yo and becomes wearisome after a while.’
    • ‘So he took Roy and he put him back stage behind the curtain.’
    • ‘The manager of the club walked up in front of the curtain and made an introduction, ‘Alright, this is the moment you have all waited for!’’
    • ‘She slipped down off the stage and behind the curtain into the darkness of backstage.’
    • ‘He walked me on stage, opened the curtain a little bit and pointed to a seat.’
    • ‘The magician invites the heckler up on stage, positions him directly in front of the curtain, and begins ‘hypnotising’ him.’
    • ‘Grace sat at the spinning wheel in the center of the stage and the curtain rose, to reveal an abandoned Marguerite.’
    • ‘He was playing Max Bialystock and for whatever reason, that night there was a problem with the set, so Jason stepped out in front of the curtain.’
    • ‘A massive red curtain hung over the stage and Anna could hear the orchestra playing down below.’
    • ‘With that, Sheena left the screen and the curtain was pulled back.’
    • ‘He goes into the audience and I go on stage behind the curtain that separates the band from the foyer.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, it makes the front stage curtain look shabby.’
    • ‘About twenty minutes after they had arrived, a guitar chord was struck from behind the curtain covering the stage.’
    • ‘For the first time the audience was allowed behind the curtain of the stage.’
    • ‘Yukiko enters, and sees the empty stage, curtain folded across.’
    • ‘Two hold up the curtain that frames the scene, one lays out the child's clothes, and three arrange flowers in his crib.’
    • ‘As the rest of the Training Center filed out, I walked up onto the stage and behind the curtain.’
    • ‘Ashley stepped out from behind the curtain on the stage and tapped on the microphone.’
    1. 2.1 A raising or lowering of the curtain at the beginning or end of an act or scene.
      ‘the art is to hold your audience right from the opening curtain’
      • ‘It was as if somebody had lowered the curtain and the actors had fallen out of their roles.’
      • ‘The curtain rises on the White House briefing room.’
      • ‘Of course, in Hollywood, nothing ever ends until the curtain comes down.’
      • ‘Amanda, meanwhile, has only a few days to go before the curtain rises on her stage ‘comeback’.’
      • ‘When the curtain rises, the stage looks like a slaughterhouse.’
      • ‘And just like that, CNN raised the curtain on the new faces of the network in front of its largest audience since the War.’
      • ‘As the curtain rose on the stage, Evan's brain actually functioned the way he had wanted it to for so long.’
      • ‘I thought I was going to a movie, and I thought that when the curtain went up I would see a movie screen.’
      • ‘From her lonely entrance at the opening curtain, until the slaphappy denouement, she dominates the stage and virtually carries the show on her slim shoulders.’
      • ‘Even the cast seems to have been infected by the drab spirit that settles over the stage the moment the curtain rises.’
      • ‘This political party will take center stage when the curtain rises on their convention one week from today in Boston.’
      • ‘The stage is covered with a canvas, as if the scene presented as the curtain rises was captured by a linen frame.’
      • ‘After the introduction before the curtain, Scene 1 was the same as Scene 2 of Act I was.’
      • ‘At last, the curtain is raised, and Jackson takes center stage and immediately owns the crowd.’
      • ‘Butterflies flew through everyone's stomachs as the curtain rose on the stage.’
      • ‘And tonight the curtain will go up for the opening night of the open-air production in Blackpool's Stanley Park.’
      • ‘He was really desperately, desperately nervous and of course, he went on stage and the curtain went up and a ‘star was born’ can I say.’
      • ‘As the curtain rises we are greeted with a luscious scene of thousands of colours, silks and velvets, flowers and feathers, glass and jewels.’
      • ‘The curtain raises on the opening scene with the cast gathered front of stage to a backdrop of trees, a small camp fire Flickering to one side.’
      • ‘Right from the curtain going up on the opening number, it is clear that Tommy the musical is here to rock Bradford.’
  • 3curtainsinformal A disastrous outcome.

    ‘it looked like curtains for me’
    • ‘However, without anywhere to play and no funds for kit and equipment, it looked like curtains for the budding Beckhams.’
    • ‘On that bombshell, is this curtains for Radio Norwich's most famous early morning DJ?’
    • ‘Blame it on the advent of multiplexes or a dip in the movie culture, its curtains for more than 20 cinema halls in the city.’
    • ‘When videos came out all those years ago people thought it was curtains for cinemas, but that's not been the case.’
    • ‘A score then would have been curtains for Parkville but the star player almost levelled on 86 minutes.’
    • ‘Once I have written this, it's enter soundtrack, cue vacuum, then it's curtains for this shambles.’
    • ‘Five minutes later burly full forward Luke Ferguson booted the ball to the net for a second goal and it looked curtains for the Carlow town side.’
    • ‘Last month it all came to a head, and for a short while it looked like curtains for racing in New York, America's most important state for the sport.’
    • ‘Just when you thought it was curtains for Wicklow, back they came.’
    • ‘The guy gets heckled by a few Tory women, and it's curtains for New Labour.’
    • ‘It looked curtains for them when their lead player had to leave the field with an injury midway through the first-half.’
    • ‘But the former council leader who helped to set up the centre, said he feared it was curtains for the museum.’
    • ‘It was curtains for the puppetry event around seven in the night.’
    • ‘His point four minutes later put four between them and it looked curtains for Ring.’
    • ‘I guess if one team wins, it's curtains for the other and that's quite heavy.’
    • ‘Residents of a small Bury street say plans to let bedsits in an end-terraced house may spell curtains for their community.’
    • ‘If I can't sort this out, it will have to be curtains for the blog.’
    • ‘But this 6-match ban may well spell curtains for the greatest captain India has ever seen.’
    • ‘One more overdose and it's curtains for Marcia, one suspects.’
    • ‘But when the substitute's strike went over for a point it was curtains for Thurles.’
    demise, dying, end, passing, passing away, passing on, loss of life, expiry, expiration, departure from life, final exit, eternal rest
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[with object]often as adjective curtained
  • 1Provide with a curtain or curtains.

    ‘a curtained window’
    • ‘I looked around me, examining the many curtained windows.’
    • ‘Bulkheads were finished in a woven bamboo-striped motif contrasting with the square-shaped windows curtained in a fish/pineapple pattern.’
    • ‘The seascape window was curtained against brisk wind.’
    • ‘On the ground floor he set the entrance back with a long, small-paned, and curtained window, expressing a discreet welcome.’
    • ‘An image from 1964 shows the dark facade of an apartment building, its windows closed and curtained.’
    • ‘When the windows were not curtained, one could just make out the Caspian Sea with its oil rigs and various boats and ships moored there.’
    • ‘The room had three beds set in a row, the last next to a lavishly curtained window with a breathtaking view of the buildings and roads below.’
    • ‘Examples include Dutch doors, which can be open, closed, or half open, and interior windows that can be curtained.’
    • ‘Her cat continued to sleep peacefully, sun from one curtained window warming her fur.’
    • ‘The windows were heavily curtained, all the doors closed but the open archway that led into a small kitchen.’
    • ‘There were two beds and one massive, velvet curtained window overlooking the school garden.’
    • ‘The windows were clean and curtained on the inside.’
    • ‘In the 1970s, however, it was decided that every plate-glass window should be curtained to control the thermal flow inside the building and these curtains have remained ever since.’
    • ‘The tables all had salmon coloured cloths with white starched napkins, terracotta tile floors, large curtained bay windows and the atmosphere is very bright and happy.’
    • ‘Up the stairs and to the right, far from the door but close to the dark, curtained windows, was a large porch swing.’
    • ‘Near the bed sculpture was a curtained window frame, in which sat a monitor showing footage taped from Paik's hospital room and from the couple's loft.’
    • ‘His eyes adjusted to the dimly lit room, illuminated by a single, heavily curtained window.’
    • ‘As usual, the room was still dark - the windows still curtained and closed - and no one was in it but her.’
    • ‘The hall, with heavily curtained windows, was plunged into darkness and the public address system stopped working.’
    • ‘There were four curtained windows through which we could see that it was already dark outside, and a door that was slightly ajar.’
    1. 1.1 Conceal or screen with a curtain.
      ‘a curtained-off side room’
      • ‘Behind it were doors for exits and entrances and a curtained booth or alcove useful for actors to hide inside.’
      • ‘She lowered her head so her hair curtained her face so he couldn't see her satisfied smirk.’
      • ‘Finally he found a curtained place, hidden from sight, yet enabling to view the room.’
      • ‘The value and livability will be improved if there is a clear bed area that can be curtained off, and a separate kitchen is essential.’
      • ‘The door was slid open and Melan peered out, a tumble of golden-brown hair curtaining her face.’
      • ‘A curtained doorway separated it from the office.’
      • ‘He glanced around and saw her sitting in the corner of the room, her knees to her chest, her head hanging and her hair curtaining her face.’
      • ‘She leaned down into the mud and thanked whatever supreme power that still liked her for allowing her hair to curtain her face.’
      • ‘However, her eyes remained trained on the plaque as her hair fell forward to curtain her from public view.’
      • ‘Willows had their hair down, curtaining the river singing softly by the footpath.’
      • ‘Her long, golden hair curtained her face, and you could just see her stunning eyes from behind.’
      • ‘Sharp fanged teeth grinned at Jake while rich ruby eyes were curtained with silver and black hair.’
      • ‘Stretching out his long length, his black hair curtained his face as his lightning blue eyes disappeared under a sweep of raven lashes.’
      • ‘Maxwell was standing there, head bowed and hair curtaining his face, a shy blush tingeing his cheeks pink.’
      • ‘‘Yes,’ the girl mumbled back as her copper hair fell forward to curtain her face.’
      • ‘She stayed hidden in a curtained room with a handsome, brutish Aussie.’
      • ‘He leaned stylishly on the tree, his head lowered, his face curtained by his brown hair dyed with streaks of blond, and his arms and legs crossed.’
      • ‘Tears tickled her tired eyes as she slid down the door her wild hair curtaining her pained face.’
      • ‘Samantha bowed her head so that her hair curtained her face, successfully concealing the crimson that stole over her cheeks in embarrassment.’
      • ‘He ducked his head shyly, bangs curtaining and hiding his face.’
      screen, separate, isolate
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  • bring down the curtain on

    • Bring to an end.

      ‘her decision brought down the curtain on a glittering 30-year career’
      • ‘It brought down the curtain on a York career which began in 1991 after he signed from New Earswick All Blacks.’
      • ‘That brought down the curtain on the scoring, but there was still another highly entertaining 45 minutes to come.’
      • ‘A dismal week for Wales brought down the curtain on the era of that great player, but who will replace him?’
      • ‘Meanwhile, two goals in the last minute brought down the curtain on an amazing 1-1 draw between Montrose and Brechin City at Links Park.’
      • ‘Dunn finally brought down the curtain on his Rovers career last night after agreeing a £5.5 million club-record move to the Midlands club.’
      • ‘The veteran defender recently brought down the curtain on an 11-year association with the Bantams but don't expect him to be putting his feet up.’
      • ‘I think it was quite fitting that Blackburn Rovers brought down the curtain on this season with a goalless draw at Tottenham on Sunday.’
      • ‘York brings down the curtain on its 2000 campaign this weekend with a three-day meeting, which starts tomorrow and reaches a climax on Saturday with the £30,000 Coral Eurobet Sprint Trophy.’
      • ‘Today, over coffee before work, I finally brought down the curtain on a very low period in my life.’
      • ‘Her farewell brings down the curtain on a 42-year career in the NHS - all of it spent in Bradford - which began as a nurse cadet in 1960 and ended as assistant director of training and development.’
      • ‘Mr B. insisted he had no personal recollection of dealing with the case but added he would not hide behind civil servants and accepted full responsibility himself - bringing down the curtain on an exceptional political career.’
      • ‘Its findings might be that bit easier to live with if we at least knew that it was bringing down the curtain on a particularly distasteful chapter in Irish politics.’
      • ‘The win brought down the curtain on the Irish tour and, indeed their season, with a trip that included a shoddy 45-16 defeat at the hands of Australia and an unspectacular 40-19 victory over Tonga.’
      • ‘A huge crowd packed into Mullaghmore on Sunday for the annual All-Ireland Donkey Derby, which brought down the curtain on the very successful Lobster Festival.’
      • ‘He has plenty of time on his hands now that Sheffield Wednesday have brought down the curtain on his injury-ravaged four-year spell at Hillsborough.’
      • ‘At worst November 26 will be a night for those seven brave souls to bring down the curtain on what was a marvellous season for Waterford hurling.’
      • ‘The recent death of the Olympian has brought down the curtain on a great life.’
      • ‘Much further north - as far as you can go in racing terms - Perth brings down the curtain on its three-day festival with a competitive programme.’
      • ‘The club's longest-serving player will bring down the curtain on 11 years at Valley Parade.’
      • ‘‘There are places that have meant more to me than Trieste,’ says Morris, bringing down the curtain on her glittering career.’


Middle English: from Old French cortine, from late Latin cortina, translation of Greek aulaia, from aulē ‘court’.