Definition of curb in English:



  • 1North American A stone or concrete edging to a street or path.

  • 2A check or restraint on something.

    ‘curbs on the powers of labor unions’
  • 3A type of bit that is widely used in western riding. In English riding it is usually only used with a snaffle as part of a double bridle.

  • 4A swelling on the back of a horse's hock, caused by spraining a ligament.


  • 1Restrain or keep in check.

    ‘she promised she would curb her temper’
    • ‘The tobacco companies offer the perfect illustration of the ways that corporations can effectively curb discussions about their products.’
    • ‘The club has disinfection mats in place to curb the spread of Foot and Mouth disease.’
    • ‘They are the first steps in action to curb anti-social behaviour and are voluntary.’
    • ‘Worries over job security will curb consumer spending.’
    • ‘He also stated that the government was trying to produce a single regulation to curb smuggling across the country.’
    • ‘In order to curb inflation, money growth must fall below growth in economic output.’
    • ‘Two citizen organizations are working to curb the excesses of commercialism in our society.’
    • ‘But he also needs the cooperation of the people in curbing the menace.’
    • ‘Certain good fats actually help curb your appetite, thus speeding up weight loss.’
    • ‘But it hasn't curbed my appetite… it's almost like it's been sent into overdrive.’
    • ‘In short, critics say, it could mean a return to the undisciplined days of a decade ago, before many governments had to curb runaway spending to qualify for the euro.’
    • ‘Besides, does anyone think youth policies will curb wage inflation among players?’
    • ‘The experts and the central bank will discuss possible ways to curb lending growth.’
    • ‘At one extreme governments brought in new laws to curb what they saw as seditious journalism.’
    • ‘Action is being demanded to curb the spread of advertising posters in Bolton.’
    • ‘Fearing rampant speculation, the government has ordered banks to curb lending for property investment.’
    • ‘The commission was hearing submissions on ways to curb the spread of HIV in prison.’
    • ‘When she's not curbing her enthusiasm, where does she hang her hat?’
    • ‘Surely there's a way to curb smoking without seriously hampering such businesses.’
    • ‘He congratulated the police and council on working effectively together to curb anti-social behaviour.’
    restrain, hold back, keep back, hold in, repress, suppress, fight back, bite back, keep in check, check, control, keep under control, rein in, keep a tight rein on, contain, discipline, govern, bridle, tame, subdue, stifle, smother, swallow, choke back, muzzle, silence, muffle, strangle, gag
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Restrain (a horse) by means of a curb.
      ‘both men were instinctively curbing their horses’
      • ‘It didn't help that his holographic partner, a die-hard environmentalist, kept urging him to clean up after the mess; curbing a horse is not easy to do.’
      • ‘The raw energy, just curbed by their athletic riders, of the Parthenon horses comes to us straight from the ice age, from the dawn of humanity.’
      • ‘The educational authorities have moved swiftly to curb this bucking bronco, whose 100 percent pass rates were the wonder of the land.’
  • 2US Lead (a dog being walked) near the curb to urinate or defecate, in order to avoid soiling buildings, sidewalks, etc.


Late 15th century (denoting a strap fastened to the bit): from Old French courber ‘bend, bow’, from Latin curvare (see curve).