- 1 [countable] a piece of cloth that is hung to cover a window to draw/pull/close the curtains (= to pull them across the window so they cover it) to draw/draw back/pull back the curtains (= to open them, so that the window is no longer covered) It was ten in the morning but the curtains were still drawn (= closed). a pair of curtains see also drape See related entries: Furniture
- 2[countable] (North American English) (British English net curtain) a very thin piece of cloth that you hang at a window, which allows light to enter but stops people outside from being able to see inside
- 3 [countable] a piece of cloth that is hung up as a screen in a room or around a bed, for example a shower curtain see also Iron Curtain
- 4 [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). Wordfinderbackdrop, costume, curtain, footlights, prop, proscenium, scenery, set, stage, the wings See related entries: In the theatre
- 5[countable, usually singular] a thing that covers, hides or protects something a curtain of rain/smoke She pushed back the curtain of brown hair from her eyes. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French cortine, from late Latin cortina, translation of Greek aulaia, from aulē
to finish or mark the end of something His sudden decision to retire brought down the curtain on a distinguished career.