from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To cut short or reduce. See Synonyms at shorten.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To cut short the tail of an animal
- v. To shorten or abridge the duration of something; to truncate.
- v. To limit or restrict, keep in check.
- n. A scroll termination, as of a step, etc.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To cut off the end or tail, or any part, of; to shorten; to abridge; to diminish; to reduce.
- n. The scroll termination of any architectural member, as of a step, etc.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A corruption of curtal. Compare curtail, v.
- To cut short; cut off the end or a part of; dock; diminish in extent or quantity: as, to curtail words.
- To deprive by excision or removal; abate by deprivation or negation: as, to curtail one of part of his allowance, or of his proper title.
- n. In architecture, a member shaped like a volute or scroll, especially in stair-building, as in the lower termination of a hand-rail or the projection of the lowest step of a flight. See curtail-step.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. terminate or abbreviate before its intended or proper end or its full extent
- v. place restrictions on
Middle English curtailen, to restrict, probably blend of Old French courtauld, docked; see curtal, and Middle English taillen, to cut (from Old French tailler; see tailor).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of curtal, from Old French courtault ("which has been shortened"), itself from court ("short") (from Latin curtus) + -ault (Wiktionary)