Share this entry

Share this page

curtail

Line breaks: cur|tail
Pronunciation: /kəːˈteɪl
 
/

Definition of curtail in English:

verb

[with object]
1Reduce in extent or quantity; impose a restriction on: civil liberties were further curtailed
More example sentences
  • But what they end up with, after all the reserve they impose (and which curtails their creative impetus) is merely anecdotal.
  • I think it is a pity that they did not get an opportunity to curtail the hours and restrict the use of the main auditorium.
  • Play is now restricted or curtailed with the par reduced and handicaps proportionately trimmed.
Synonyms
shorten, cut short, break off, truncate;
restrict, put a restriction on, limit, put a limit on, curb, put the brakes on, rein in, rein back
informal chop
1.1 (curtail someone of) archaic Deprive someone of (something): I that am curtailed of this fair proportion

Origin

late 15th century: from obsolete curtal 'horse with a docked tail', from French courtault, from court 'short', from Latin curtus. The change in the ending was due to association with tail1 and perhaps also with French tailler 'to cut'.

Definition of curtail in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…