What does curtain mean?

Definitions for curtain
ˈkɜr tncur·tain

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word curtain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. curtain, drape, drapery, mantle, pallnoun

    hanging cloth used as a blind (especially for a window)

  2. curtainverb

    any barrier to communication or vision

    "a curtain of secrecy"; "a curtain of trees"

  3. curtainverb

    provide with drapery

    "curtain the bedrooms"


  1. curtainnoun

    A piece of cloth covering a window to keep the sun from shining inside.

  2. curtainnoun

    A similar piece of cloth that separates the audience and the stage in a theater.

  3. curtainnoun

    The flat area of wall which connects two bastions or towers; the main area of a fortified wall.

  4. curtainnoun


  5. curtainverb

    To cover (a window) with a curtain; to hang curtains.

  6. Etymology: From cortine, from cortina.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CURTAINnoun

    Etymology: cortina, Latin.

    Their curtains ought to be kept open, so as to renew the air. John Arbuthnot, on Diet.

    So through white curtains shot a tim’rous ray,
    And op’d those eyes that must eclipse the day. Alexander Pope.

    Thy hand, great dulness! let’s the curtain fall,
    And universal darkness buries all. Alexander Pope, Dunciad, b. iii.

    I must draw a curtain before the work for a while, and keep your patience a little in suspence, ’till materials are prepared. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    Once more I write to you, and this once will be the last: the curtain will soon be drawn between my friend and me, and nothing left but to wish you a long good night. Alexander Pope.

    Had I forgot thee? Oh, come in, Æmilia:
    Soft, by and by; let me the curtains draw.
    Where art thou? What’s the matter with thee now? William Shakespeare.

    So soon as the all-cheering sun
    Should in the farthest East begin to draw
    The shady curtain from Aurora’s bed. William Shakespeare, Rom. and Jul.

    Peace, the lovers are asleep: They, sweet turtles! folded lie
    In the last knot that love could tie:
    Let them sleep, let them sleep on,
    ’Till this stormy night be gone;
    And th’ eternal morrow dawn,
    Then the curtain will be drawn,
    And they waken with that light,
    Whose day shall never sleep in night. Richard Crashaw.

    The governour, not discouraged, suddenly of timber and boards raised up a curtain twelve foot high, at the back of his soldiers. Richard Knolles, History of the Turks.

  2. To Curtainverb

    To inclose or accommodate with curtains.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Now o’er one half the world
    Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
    The curtain’d sleep. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    The wand’ring prince and Dido,
    When with a happy storm they were surpriz’d,
    And curtain’d with a counsel-keeping cave. William Shakespeare.

    But in her temple’s last recess inclos’d,
    On dulness’ lap th’ anointed head repos’d:
    Him close she curtain’d round with vapours blue,
    And soft besprinkled with cimmerian dew. Alexander Pope, Dunciad.


  1. Curtain

    A curtain is a piece of cloth or other material intended to block or obscure light, air drafts, or (in the case of a shower curtain), water. A curtain is also the movable screen or drape in a theatre that separates the stage from the auditorium or that serves as a backdrop/background.Curtains are often hung on the inside of a building's windows to block the passage of light. For instance, at night to aid sleeping, or to stop light from escaping outside the building (stopping people outside from being able to see inside, often for privacy reasons). In this application, they are also known as "draperies". Curtains hung over a doorway are known as portières. Curtains come in a variety of shapes, materials, sizes, colours, and patterns. They often have their own sections within department stores, while some shops are completely dedicated to selling curtains. Curtains vary according to cleanability, ultraviolet light deterioration, oil and dust retention, noise absorption, fire resistance, and life span. Curtains may be operated by hand, with cords, by press-button pads or remote-controlled computers. They are held out of the way of the window by means of curtain tie-backs. Measuring curtain sizes needed for each window varies greatly according to the type of curtain needed, window size, and type and weight of curtain. Curtains are a form of window decor and complete the overall appearance of the interior of the house. Curtains help control the ambiance and flow of natural light into the room. The effect of drapery or curtains is best seen in daylight, and with proper indoor light positioning, can look attractive even at night.


  1. curtain

    A curtain is a piece of cloth or other material that hangs vertically, used to cover a window, door, or other opening to enhance privacy, control light, or for decorative purposes. It can also be used as a movable screen in a theater to separate the stage from the audience or to hide parts of the stage.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Curtainnoun

    a hanging screen intended to darken or conceal, and admitting of being drawn back or up, and reclosed at pleasure; esp., drapery of cloth or lace hanging round a bed or at a window; in theaters, and like places, a movable screen for concealing the stage

  2. Curtainnoun

    that part of the rampart and parapet which is between two bastions or two gates. See Illustrations of Ravelin and Bastion

  3. Curtainnoun

    that part of a wall of a building which is between two pavilions, towers, etc

  4. Curtainnoun

    a flag; an ensign; -- in contempt

  5. Curtainverb

    to inclose as with curtains; to furnish with curtains

  6. Etymology: [OE.cortin, curtin,fr. OF. cortine, curtine, F. courtine, LL. cortina, curtian (in senses 1 and 2), also, small court, small inclosure surrounded by walls, from cortis court. See Court.]


  1. Curtain

    A curtain is a piece of cloth intended to block or obscure light, or drafts, or water in the case of a shower curtain. A curtain is also the movable screen or drape in a theater that separates the stage from the auditorium or that serves as a backdrop. Although the words curtain and drape are commonly used interchangeably, drapes distinguish themselves by containing lining sewn onto the reverse side of the fabric. The purpose of lining is to protect drapes and interior spaces from damaging UV rays, the rotting of silks, adverse light conditions, and fading colored dyes. Linings also provide an immediate aesthetic purpose by adding to the drapeability of the fabric; added weight helps to anchor the drape and creates a more full and luxurious window treatment. Unlike windows with drapes, windows with curtains lack the added benefit of light control and will exhibit a striping effect during daylight hours; a term that describes a visible striped effect caused by uneven light distribution between the areas of the curtain where it rests in front of the window juxtaposed with where it rests in front of the wall.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Curtain

    kur′tin, n. drapery hung round and enclosing a bed, &c.: the part of a rampart between two bastions.—v.t. to enclose or furnish with curtains.—n. Cur′tain-lec′ture, a lecture or reproof given in bed by a wife to her husband.—Behind the curtain, away from public view; Draw the curtain, to draw it aside, so as to show what is behind, or in front of anything so as to hide it. [O. Fr. cortine—Low L. cortina; prob. L. cors, cortis, a court.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. curtain

    In fortification, that part of the rampart which is between the flanks of two opposite bastions, which are thereby connected.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. curtain

    In fortification, is that part of the rampart or wall between two bastions or two gates.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Curtain is ranked #61745 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Curtain surname appeared 325 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Curtain.

    47.3% or 154 total occurrences were Black.
    46.4% or 151 total occurrences were White.
    3% or 10 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.4% or 8 total occurrences were of two or more races.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'curtain' in Nouns Frequency: #1270

Anagrams for curtain »

  1. turacin

  2. turcian

How to pronounce curtain?

How to say curtain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of curtain in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of curtain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of curtain in a Sentence

  1. George Clooney:

    When you talk about ‘ Making America Great Again, ’ America being great everyone assumed was the Eisenhower ‘ 50s, and it was great if you were a white, straight male, but other than that it probablywas n’tso great, it’s fun to lift up that curtain and look underneath that thin veneer and see some of the real problems that this country has yet to completely come to terms with.

  2. Tiffany Justice:

    I think Covid has allowed all of America to see behind the education curtain, so, we just thought we could take the skills that we have learned and the inside information that we learned about the public education system to help parents advocate more effectively for their children.

  3. Ryan Reynolds:

    When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set, that’s that great self-defense mechanism.

  4. Van Der Beek:

    I play Donald Trump’s right-hand man, working in Trump Tower, and Evan Peters’ [character] comes in and interviews for a job. I don’t know what else I am allowed to say but I know I can say that. We never see Donald Trump. He’s like Oz. He’s always behind the curtain, but I’m his right-hand man.

  5. Jules Renard:

    We are born at the rise of the curtain and we die with its fall, and every night in the presence of our patrons we write our new creation, and every night it is blotted out forever; and of what use is it to say to audience or to critic, Ah, but you should have seen me last Tuesday?

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for curtain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"curtain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/curtain>.

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