[singular] a piece of thick, heavy cloth that hangs in front of the stage in the theatre The audience was waiting for the curtain to rise (= for the play to begin). There was tremendous applause when the curtain came down (= the play ended). We left just before the final curtain. (figurative) The curtain has fallen on her long and distinguished career (= her career has ended). (figurative) It's time to face the final curtain (= the end; death).