from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A concrete border or row of joined stones forming part of a gutter along the edge of a street.
  • noun An enclosing framework, such as that around a skylight.
  • noun A raised margin along an edge used to confine or strengthen.
  • noun Something that checks or restrains.
  • noun A chain or strap that passes under a horse's lower jaw and serves in conjunction with the bit to restrain the horse.
  • noun A market, originally on a street or sidewalk, for trading securities that are not listed on a stock exchange.
  • transitive verb To check, restrain, or control (an impulse or activity, for example); rein in. synonym: restrain.
  • transitive verb To prevent (a person or group) from doing something or acting in a certain way.
  • transitive verb To lead (a dog) off the sidewalk into the gutter so that it can excrete waste.
  • transitive verb To furnish with a curb.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Bent; curved; arched.
  • noun A hard and callous swelling on various parts of a horse's leg, as the hinder part of the hock, the inside of the hoof, beneath the elbow of the hoof, etc.
  • To bend; curve.
  • To bend to one's will; check; restrain; hold in check; control; keep in subjection: as, to curb the passions.
  • To restrain or control with a curb; guide and manage with the reins.
  • To strengthen or defend by a curb: as, to curb a well or a bank of earth.
  • To bend; crouch.
  • noun That which checks, restrains, or holds back; restraint; check; control.
  • noun Specifically A chain or strap attached to the upper ends of the branches of the bit of a bridle, and passing under the horse's lower jaw, used chiefly in controlling an unruly or high-spirited horse.
  • noun A line of joined stones set upright at the outer edge of a walk, or at one of the edges of a street or road, forming the inner side of a gutter; a row of curbstones.
  • noun In mech.: A breast-wall or retaining-wall erected to support a bank of earth. A casing of stone, wood, brick, or iron, built inside a well that is being sunk, or the framework above and around a well. A boarded structure used to contain concrete until it hardens into a pier or foundation. The outer casing of a turbine-wheel. A curved shrouding which confines the water against the floats or buckets of a scoop-wheel or breast-wheel. The wall-plate at the springing of a dome. The wall-plate on the top of the permanent part of a windmill, on which the cap rotates as the wind veers. An inclined circular plate placed round the edge of a kettle to prevent the contents from boiling over.
  • noun Same as crib, 11.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To bend; to crouch; to cringe.
  • transitive verb obsolete To bend or curve.
  • transitive verb To guide and manage, or restrain, as with a curb; to bend to one's will; to subject; to subdue; to restrain; to confine; to keep in check.
  • transitive verb To furnish with a curb, as a well; also, to restrain by a curb, as a bank of earth.
  • noun That which curbs, restrains, or subdues; a check or hindrance; esp., a chain or strap attached to the upper part of the branches of a bit, and capable of being drawn tightly against the lower jaw of the horse.
  • noun (Arch.) An assemblage of three or more pieces of timber, or a metal member, forming a frame around an opening, and serving to maintain the integrity of that opening; also, a ring of stone serving a similar purpose, as at the eye of a dome.
  • noun A frame or wall round the mouth of a well; also, a frame within a well to prevent the earth caving in.
  • noun A curbstone.
  • noun (Far.) A swelling on the back part of the hind leg of a horse, just behind the lowest part of the hock joint, generally causing lameness.
  • noun a stiff bit having branches by which a leverage is obtained upon the jaws of horse.
  • noun (Horology) the pins on the regulator which restrain the hairspring.
  • noun (Arch.) a plate serving the purpose of a curb.
  • noun See under Deck.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun North America A row of concrete along the edge of a road; a kerb (UK)
  • noun A raised margin along the edge of something, as a strengthening.
  • noun Something that checks or restrains.
  • noun A riding or driving bit for a horse that has rein action which amplifies the pressure in the mouth by leverage advantage placing pressure on the poll via the crown piece of the bridle and chin groove via a curb chain.
  • noun A sidewalk, covered or partially enclosed, bordering the airport terminal road system with an adjacent paved areas to permit vehicles to off-load or load passengers.
  • verb To check, restrain or control.
  • verb To rein in.
  • verb To furnish with a curb.
  • verb To force to "bite the curb" (hit the pavement curb); see curb stomp.
  • verb To damage vehicle wheels or tires by running into or over a pavement curb.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a stock exchange in New York
  • verb to put down by force or authority
  • verb place restrictions on
  • noun an edge between a sidewalk and a roadway consisting of a line of curbstones (usually forming part of a gutter)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Blend of Middle English, curved piece of wood (from Old French corbe, curved object, from corbe, curved, from Latin curvus) and Middle English corbe, horse strap (from corben, to bow down, halt, from Old French corber, to bow down, from Latin curvāre, from curvus, curved, bent; see sker- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French courbe ("curve, curved object"), from Latin curvus ("bent, crooked, curved").


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  • Sometimes, on the weekends, its British cousin kerb comes over for tea and scones. Or coffee and cake.

    February 6, 2007