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curt

Line breaks: curt
Pronunciation: /kəːt
 
/

Definition of curt in English:

adjective

Rudely brief: his reply was curt
More example sentences
  • I'd noticed that in a few short hours that his curt and snappish side was back.
  • He opened his mouth for a sharp reply but closed it and just gave her a curt nod.
  • About ten minutes ago, I was rather curt (almost rude, in fact) to an acquaintance who rang me.
Synonyms
gruff, offhand, unceremonious, ungracious, rude, impolite, discourteous, uncivil;
laconic, brief, succinct, compact, pithy, to the point, economical
informal snippy
British rare dusty

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'short, shortened'): from Latin curtus 'cut short, abridged'.

More
  • ‘In more temperate climes, hair is curt’, writes Sir Thomas Herbert in his 1665 account of his travels in Africa and Asia, reflecting curt's original meaning, ‘short or shortened’. The word comes from Latin curtus ‘cut short, abridged’, source also of curtail (Late Middle English). By the 19th century you could use curt to describe people who were not only concise or brief in what they were saying, but rudely so.

Derivatives

curtly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • He waits until you speak to him, so that he can respond as curtly and bluntly as possible.
  • He replied curtly as we questioned him on his current drinking habits.
  • Many of the people I address in Portuguese curtly respond in French.

curtness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • And sorry for the curtness - I appreciate Lindsey's challenge, and think it's very cool that he's posting about this stuff, but I'm trying to be really brief and I apologize if that comes off wrong.
  • Employing that odd mixture of world weariness and curtness that has become your trademark - the sigh, the swift turning of the back and a clipped phrase delivered over the shoulder as you aim for the door - you damned the whole lot of us.
  • Even in the latter vocation, however, his famous curtness has caused him to sound the odd ordinary note.

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