Share this entry

curtain lecture Syllabification: cur·tain lec·ture

Definition of curtain lecture in English:


An instance of a wife reprimanding her husband in private.
Example sentences
  • Excellent quotation, but remember that the curtain lecture is on the advantages of poverty, as well as the true provenance of gentility.
  • This, however, was all mere scandal, founded perhaps on her occasionally flourishing a broomstick in the course of a curtain lecture, or raising a storm within doors, as termagant wives are apt to do.
  • Here are microcultural tales of pirates and robbers, blanket fairs (people climbing into bed together to talk before going to sleep), curtain lectures (wives who felt emboldened by the dark to complain to their recumbent husbands) and night-kings (sewer cleaners in Germany).


Mid 17th century: originally a reprimand given behind bed curtains.

Definition of curtain lecture in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

More on curtain lecture

Nearby words

Translate curtain lecture

into German
Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...