Definition of curtain in English:



  • 1A piece of material suspended at the top to form a covering or screen, typically 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’
    • ‘The men had tacked up a navy blue material to act as curtains over the stern windows.’
    • ‘There is a washbasin, a chair with a tatty dressing gown slung over it, and a window with the curtains drawn.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Aside from a pair of drab grey curtains which covered the window over the sink, the room was free of decorations.’
    • ‘In Peter's parents' house, every window has a net curtain.’
    • ‘A bearded man drew back the curtain over the window.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I can draw a window curtain or adjust overhead lights.’
    • ‘I have no doubt it now hangs over a window as a make-shift curtain or is draped on a wall.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I locked my window and drew the curtain quickly afterwards.’
    • ‘She might get a piece of material to make curtains for the kitchen window and some oilcloth for the table.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now it's time to draw back the curtains, open the windows, and get on with it.’
    • ‘You glance up to the window, curtains drawn to reveal the moon hanging in the clear night sky, gleaming softly.’
    • ‘When the sun fell in through the curtains of his bedroom window the next morning, she smiled listlessly.’
    • ‘Trying not to pull your hair out in irritation, you walk up to the window, draw the curtains, unlatch the window, push it open.’
    • ‘I look up the hill at the empty black window with the lace curtain.’
    • ‘He began to draw the curtains across the screen, and to put the house lights on.’
    • ‘An improvised curtain covered the window between the two rooms, so the intercom was the only means of communication.’
    window hanging, hanging, screen, blind
    screen, cover, shield, cloak, veil, pall
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    1. 1.1A screen of heavy cloth or other material that can be raised or lowered at the front of a stage.
      • ‘Unfortunately, it makes the front stage curtain look shabby.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘About twenty minutes after they had arrived, a guitar chord was struck from behind the curtain covering the stage.’
      • ‘Two hold up the curtain that frames the scene, one lays out the child's clothes, and three arrange flowers in his crib.’
      • ‘Yukiko enters, and sees the empty stage, curtain folded across.’
      • ‘Perry sighed and started to walk behind the stage, where the curtain was closed and he was hid from view.’
      • ‘He walked me on stage, opened the curtain a little bit and pointed to a seat.’
      • ‘She slipped down off the stage and behind the curtain into the darkness of backstage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So he took Roy and he put him back stage behind the curtain.’
      • ‘The magician invites the heckler up on stage, positions him directly in front of the curtain, and begins ‘hypnotising’ him.’
      • ‘For the first time the audience was allowed behind the curtain of the stage.’
      • ‘Grace sat at the spinning wheel in the center of the stage and the curtain rose, to reveal an abandoned Marguerite.’
      • ‘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!’’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2A raising or lowering of the curtain at the beginning or end of an act or scene on a stage.
      ‘the art is to hold your audience right from the opening curtain’
      • ‘Butterflies flew through everyone's stomachs as the curtain rose on the stage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Amanda, meanwhile, has only a few days to go before the curtain rises on her stage ‘comeback’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was as if somebody had lowered the curtain and the actors had fallen out of their roles.’
      • ‘Right from the curtain going up on the opening number, it is clear that Tommy the musical is here to rock Bradford.’
      • ‘The stage is covered with a canvas, as if the scene presented as the curtain rises was captured by a linen frame.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even the cast seems to have been infected by the drab spirit that settles over the stage the moment the curtain rises.’
      • ‘And just like that, CNN raised the curtain on the new faces of the network in front of its largest audience since the War.’
      • ‘When the curtain rises, the stage looks like a slaughterhouse.’
      • ‘As the curtain rises we are greeted with a luscious scene of thousands of colours, silks and velvets, flowers and feathers, glass and jewels.’
      • ‘Of course, in Hollywood, nothing ever ends until the curtain comes down.’
      • ‘This political party will take center stage when the curtain rises on their convention one week from today in Boston.’
      • ‘The curtain rises on the White House briefing room.’
      • ‘As the curtain rose on the stage, Evan's brain actually functioned the way he had wanted it to for so long.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I thought I was going to a movie, and I thought that when the curtain went up I would see a movie screen.’
    3. 1.3informal A disastrous outcome.
      ‘it looked like curtains for me’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I guess if one team wins, it's curtains for the other and that's quite heavy.’
      • ‘But when the substitute's strike went over for a point it was curtains for Thurles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If I can't sort this out, it will have to be curtains for the blog.’
      • ‘Just when you thought it was curtains for Wicklow, back they came.’
      • ‘Once I have written this, it's enter soundtrack, cue vacuum, then it's curtains for this shambles.’
      • ‘Residents of a small Bury street say plans to let bedsits in an end-terraced house may spell curtains for their community.’
      • ‘It was curtains for the puppetry event around seven in the night.’
      • ‘The guy gets heckled by a few Tory women, and it's curtains for New Labour.’
      • ‘But this 6-match ban may well spell curtains for the greatest captain India has ever seen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On that bombshell, is this curtains for Radio Norwich's most famous early morning DJ?’
      • ‘It looked curtains for them when their lead player had to leave the field with an injury midway through the first-half.’
      • ‘A score then would have been curtains for Parkville but the star player almost levelled on 86 minutes.’
      • ‘However, without anywhere to play and no funds for kit and equipment, it looked like curtains for the budding Beckhams.’
      • ‘But the former council leader who helped to set up the centre, said he feared it was curtains for the museum.’
      • ‘His point four minutes later put four between them and it looked curtains for Ring.’
      • ‘One more overdose and it's curtains for Marcia, one suspects.’
      • ‘When videos came out all those years ago people thought it was curtains for cinemas, but that's not been the case.’
      demise, dying, end, passing, passing away, passing on, loss of life, expiry, expiration, departure from life, final exit, eternal rest
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  • 1 Provide with a curtain or curtains.

    ‘a curtained window’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bulkheads were finished in a woven bamboo-striped motif contrasting with the square-shaped windows curtained in a fish/pineapple pattern.’
    • ‘Up the stairs and to the right, far from the door but close to the dark, curtained windows, was a large porch swing.’
    • ‘The seascape window was curtained against brisk wind.’
    • ‘Her cat continued to sleep peacefully, sun from one curtained window warming her fur.’
    • ‘Examples include Dutch doors, which can be open, closed, or half open, and interior windows that can be curtained.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As usual, the room was still dark - the windows still curtained and closed - and no one was in it but her.’
    • ‘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 hall, with heavily curtained windows, was plunged into darkness and the public address system stopped working.’
    • ‘On the ground floor he set the entrance back with a long, small-paned, and curtained window, expressing a discreet welcome.’
    • ‘There were four curtained windows through which we could see that it was already dark outside, and a door that was slightly ajar.’
    • ‘There were two beds and one massive, velvet curtained window overlooking the school garden.’
    • ‘The windows were clean and curtained on the inside.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘I looked around me, examining the many curtained windows.’
    • ‘His eyes adjusted to the dimly lit room, illuminated by a single, heavily curtained window.’
    • ‘An image from 1964 shows the dark facade of an apartment building, its windows closed and curtained.’
    • ‘The windows were heavily curtained, all the doors closed but the open archway that led into a small kitchen.’
    1. 1.1Conceal or screen with a curtain.
      ‘a curtained-off side room’
      figurative ‘her unbound hair curtaining her face’
      • ‘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 stayed hidden in a curtained room with a handsome, brutish Aussie.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Maxwell was standing there, head bowed and hair curtaining his face, a shy blush tingeing his cheeks pink.’
      • ‘Willows had their hair down, curtaining the river singing softly by the footpath.’
      • ‘‘Yes,’ the girl mumbled back as her copper hair fell forward to curtain her face.’
      • ‘Samantha bowed her head so that her hair curtained her face, successfully concealing the crimson that stole over her cheeks in embarrassment.’
      • ‘She leaned down into the mud and thanked whatever supreme power that still liked her for allowing her hair to curtain her face.’
      • ‘A curtained doorway separated it from the office.’
      • ‘Stretching out his long length, his black hair curtained his face as his lightning blue eyes disappeared under a sweep of raven lashes.’
      • ‘Her long, golden hair curtained her face, and you could just see her stunning eyes from behind.’
      • ‘However, her eyes remained trained on the plaque as her hair fell forward to curtain her from public view.’
      • ‘She lowered her head so her hair curtained her face so he couldn't see her satisfied smirk.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He ducked his head shyly, bangs curtaining and hiding his face.’
      • ‘Finally he found a curtained place, hidden from sight, yet enabling to view the room.’
      • ‘Behind it were doors for exits and entrances and a curtained booth or alcove useful for actors to hide inside.’
      • ‘Tears tickled her tired eyes as she slid down the door her wild hair curtaining her pained face.’
      • ‘Sharp fanged teeth grinned at Jake while rich ruby eyes were curtained with silver and black hair.’
      screen, separate, isolate
      conceal, hide, shield, mask, veil, shroud
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Middle English: from Old French cortine, from late Latin cortina, translation of Greek aulaia, from aulē court.