Definition of curb in English:


Syllabification: curb
Pronunciation: /kərb


  • 1North American A stone or concrete edging to a street or path.
    More example sentences
    • She had to sit on the hard concrete curb in order to collect herself.
    • Residential paving is one of the largest markets in the United States for new streets, reconstruction and curb and gutter.
    • He led the boy to the street's curb and sat him down.
  • 3 (also curb bit) A type of bit that is widely used in western riding. In English riding it is usually only used with a snaffle as part of a double bridle.
    More example sentences
    • Too often I see people with track horses, who they are afraid of, sticking a big curb bit in their mouth.
    • The curb bit promises collection - contained energy, not free forward movement - and hence submission to the will of the rider.
    • The soldiers ride bays or chestnuts and use United States Army regulation saddles, saddlecloths, halters, bridles, and curb bits.
  • 4A swelling on the back of a horse’s hock, caused by spraining a ligament.


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Restrain or keep in check: she promised she would curb her temper
    More example sentences
    • Worries over job security will curb consumer spending.
    • In short, critics say, it could mean a return to the undisciplined days of a decade ago, before many governments had to curb runaway spending to qualify for the euro.
    • When she's not curbing her enthusiasm, where does she hang her hat?
    restrain, hold back/in, keep back, repress, suppress, fight back, bite back, keep in check, check, control, rein in, contain, bridle, subdue
    informal keep a/the lid on
  • 1.1Restrain (a horse) by means of a curb.
    More example sentences
    • The educational authorities have moved swiftly to curb this bucking bronco, whose 100 percent pass rates were the wonder of the land.
    • It didn't help that his holographic partner, a die-hard environmentalist, kept urging him to clean up after the mess; curbing a horse is not easy to do.
    • The raw energy, just curbed by their athletic riders, of the Parthenon horses comes to us straight from the ice age, from the dawn of humanity.
  • 2Lead (a dog being walked) near the curb to urinate or defecate.


late 15th century (denoting a strap fastened to the bit): from Old French courber 'bend, bow', from Latin curvare (see curve).

More definitions of curb

Definition of curb in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
a slit made by cutting with a saw