American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To cut short or reduce. See Synonyms at shorten.
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.
- v. obsolete To cut short the tail of an animal
- v. To shorten or abridge the duration of something; to truncate.
- v. figuratively To limit or restrict, keep in check.
- n. architecture A scroll termination, as of a step, etc.
GNU Webster's 1913
- 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.
- v. terminate or abbreviate before its intended or proper end or its full extent
- v. place restrictions on
- Alteration of curtal, from Old French courtault ("which has been shortened"), itself from court ("short") (from Latin curtus) + -ault (Wiktionary)
- 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)
“Booming M&A activity has helped to drive Australia's stock market to a record, but these changes may in the short term curtail that activity.”
“A poor African, behind the pulpit, who perhaps had seen pictures of the devil with a long tail and hoofs, misapprehended the meaning of the word curtail, and responded, "Amen! may it be cut right, smack, smooth, short off.”
Pictures of Slavery in Church and State; Including Personal Reminiscences, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, etc. etc. with an Appendix, Containing the Views of John Wesley and Richard Watson on Slavery
“Freedom is not absolute, of course, but the worst atrocities in history have been carried out when authorities decided to "curtail" activities "in the interest of the common good.”
“I mean I am a seeker, so I worked really hard to kind of curtail those behaviors but I could not be in charge or in control of my behavior until I went on medicine.”
“Tho 'curtail'd their ranks, 'tis their character due,”
“The DGS strongly suggested that I "curtail" my "public activities" because we live in a small community and it might affect my reputation.”
“Time Warner Cable said it will "curtail" the use of the word "free" in advertising its HD service and stopped running ads claiming that AT”
“curtail" his Majesty's Wig "of its fair proportion;" yet I have sometimes been apt to think it rather improper, to make the Wig, as is usually done, of larger dimensions than the tree in which it and his”
“King called for blacks to stop drinking and gambling and to curtail their desires for luxuries.”
“To more effectively curtail the real's rise, Brazil's government must exhibit much more fiscal discipline, economists say.”
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