Definition of curtail verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

curtail

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//kɜːˈteɪl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrˈteɪl//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they curtail
BrE BrE//kɜːˈteɪl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrˈteɪl//
 
he / she / it curtails
BrE BrE//kɜːˈteɪlz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrˈteɪlz//
 
past simple curtailed
BrE BrE//kɜːˈteɪld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrˈteɪld//
 
past participle curtailed
BrE BrE//kɜːˈteɪld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrˈteɪld//
 
-ing form curtailing
BrE BrE//kɜːˈteɪlɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrˈteɪlɪŋ//
 
 
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curtail something (formal) to limit something or make it last for a shorter time Spending on books has been severely curtailed. The lecture was curtailed by the fire alarm going off. Word Origin late 15th cent.: from obsolete curtal ‘horse with a docked tail’, from French courtault, from court ‘short’, from Latin curtus. The change in the ending was due to association with tail and perhaps also with French tailler ‘to cut’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: curtail