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curtain

cur·tain / ˈkərtn/ • n. a piece of material suspended at the top to form a covering or screen, typically one of a pair at a window: fig. through the curtain of falling snow, she could just make out gravestones. ∎  (the curtain) a screen of heavy cloth or other material that can be raised or lowered at the front of a stage. ∎  a raising or lowering of such a screen at the beginning or end of an act or scene. ∎  (curtains) inf. a disastrous outcome: it looked like curtains for me. • v. [tr.] provide with a curtain or curtains. ∎  conceal or screen with a curtain. PHRASES: bring down the curtain on bring to an end.

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curtain

curtain curtain call the appearance of one or more performers on stage after a performance to acknowledge the audience's applause.
curtain lecture an instance of a wife reprimanding her husband in private (recorded from the mid 17th century, and originally a reprimand given behind bed curtains).
curtain-raiser an entertainment or other event happening just before a longer or more important one (recorded from the mid 19th century, and originally used in the theatre to denote a short opening piece performed before a play).
curtain wall a fortified wall around a medieval castle, typically one linking towers together.

See also bamboo curtain, iron curtain.

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curtain

curtain sb. XIII. ME. cortine, curtine, later curtain(e), -ein(e) — OF. cortine (mod. courtine) :- late L. cortīna, used in the Vulgate (Exodus 26: 1) to render Gr. aulaía curtain (f. aulḗ court), as if it was regarded as a deriv. of L. co(ho)rt- COURT, whereas in classical L. it meant ‘cauldron’ and was hence applied to circular or arched objects.
Hence curtain vb. XIII.

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curtain

curtainbaton, batten, fatten, flatten, harmattan, Manhattan, Mountbatten, paten, patten, pattern, platen, Saturn, slattern •Shackleton • Appleton •Hampton, Northampton, Rockhampton, Southampton, Wolverhampton •Canton, lantern, Scranton •Langton, plankton •Clapton •Aston, pastern •Gladstone •Caxton, Paxton •capstan • Ashton • phytoplankton •Akhenaten, Akhetaten, Aten, Barton, carton, Dumbarton, hearten, Parton, smarten, spartan, tartan •Grafton •Carlton, Charlton •Charleston • kindergarten •Aldermaston •Breton, jetton, Sowetan, threaten, Tibetan •lectern •Elton, melton, Skelton •Denton, Fenton, Kenton, Lenten, Trenton •Repton •Avestan, Midwestern, northwestern, Preston, southwestern, western •sexton •Clayton, Deighton, Leighton, Paton, phaeton, Satan, straighten, straiten •Paignton • Maidstone •beaten, Beaton, Beeton, Cretan, Keaton, neaten, Nuneaton, overeaten, sweeten, uneaten, wheaten •chieftain •eastern, northeastern, southeastern •browbeaten • weatherbeaten •bitten, bittern, Britain, Briton, Britten, handwritten, hardbitten, kitten, Lytton, mitten, smitten, underwritten, witan, written •Clifton •Milton, Shilton, Stilton, Wilton •Middleton • singleton • simpleton •Clinton, Linton, Minton, Quinton, Winton •cistern, Liston, piston, Wystan •brimstone • Winston • Kingston •Addington • Eddington •Workington •Arlington, Darlington •skeleton •Ellington, wellington •exoskeleton •cosmopolitan, megalopolitan, metropolitan, Neapolitan •Burlington • Hamilton • badminton •lamington • Germiston • Penistone •Bonington • Orpington • Samaritan •Carrington, Harrington •sacristan • Festschriften •Sherrington • typewritten •Warrington • puritan • Fredericton •Lexington • Occitan • Washington •Whittington • Huntington •Galveston • Livingstone •Kensington •Blyton, brighten, Brighton, Crichton, enlighten, frighten, heighten, lighten, righten, tighten, titan, triton, whiten •begotten, cotton, forgotten, ill-gotten, misbegotten, rotten •Compton, Crompton •wanton • Longton •Boston, postern •boughten, chorten, foreshorten, Laughton, Morton, Naughton, Orton, quartan, quartern, shorten, tauten, torten, Wharton •Alton, Dalton, Galton, saltern, Walton •Taunton • Allston • Launceston •croton, Dakotan, Minnesotan, oaten, verboten •Bolton, Doulton, molten •Folkestone • Royston •Luton, newton, rambutan, Teuton •Houston • Fulton •button, glutton, Hutton, mutton •sultan •doubleton, subaltern •fronton • Augustan • Dunstan •tungsten • quieten • Pinkerton •charlatan • Wollaston • Palmerston •Edmonton • automaton • Sheraton •Geraldton • Chatterton • Betterton •Chesterton • Athelstan •burton, curtain, uncertain •Hurston

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