From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Household, Theatre
curtaincur‧tain1 /ˈkɜːtn $ ˈkɜːrtn/ ●●● S3 W3 noun [countable] 1 DHa piece of hanging cloth that can be pulled across to cover a window, divide a room etc red velvet curtainsdraw/close/pull the curtains Ella drew the curtains and switched the light on.draw back/open the curtains Shall I open the curtains?curtain rail/pole/rod (=for hanging a curtain on)2 APTa sheet of heavy material that comes down at the front of the stage in a theatrethe curtain goes up/rises Before the curtain went up, the dancers took their places on stage.the curtain comes down/falls3 HIDE/MAKE IT HARD TO FIND OR SEE written a thick layer of something that stops anything behind it from being seencurtain of a curtain of smoke4 bring down the curtain on something5 (it’ll) be curtains for somebody/somethingCOLLOCATIONSverbsdraw/close/pull the curtains (=close them)The room was dark because the curtains were (back)/pull back the curtains (=open them)Would you mind opening the curtains?curtains hangBright red curtains hung cheerfully at all the windows.put up/hang curtains (=fix new curtains at a window )She was standing on a ladder hanging some new curtains.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + curtain heavy/thick curtains (=made of thick material)Heavy curtains help to keep the house warm.velvet/net/lace etc curtains (=made of velvet, net etc)a shower curtain (=for keeping the water in the shower)curtain + NOUNa curtain rail/pole/rod (=a long stick for hanging a curtain)Velvet can be heavy so choose a strong curtain pole.curtain fabric/material (=for making curtains)I need to go to town to buy some curtain fabric.curtain hooks (=for attaching curtains to a rail)The curtain has loops, so you don't need curtain hooks.
Examples from the Corpus
curtainA dense curtain of fog caused traffic problems.In the drapery room, for example, the formations hang from the ceiling like curtains.There was a filthy shroud of cobweb across it, but no curtain beyond.It is available in three depths to suit all lengths of curtain.a shower curtainIn the corner of the room is a large bed hung with a dark musty surrounding curtain.Before the curtain went up, the dancers took their places on the stage.A breeze blows the white curtains in on either side of her, two ghostly arms embracing her.draw/close/pull the curtainsWhen I catch Grandmother thinking in this fashion I shy away and draw the curtains, lest I smile.When she stopped having accidents, she would withdraw into her room and draw the curtains and complain of headache.Callie drew the curtains with a soapy hand, but even so the light washed everything out.Sir George drew the curtains, and motioned Roland and Maud to sit down by the fire, in the velvet chairs.I closed the curtains around the bed, and felt safe from Heathcliff and everyone else at Wuthering Heights.I was going to draw the curtains, upstairs in the bedroom about ten minutes after you dropped me off here.He had scarcely had time to draw the curtains when there was a small, familiar tap at the door.Other days, she would draw the curtains in their room and lie in bed with a cloth pressed to her forehead.the curtain goes up/risesBut once this glitzy transformation scene is set and the curtain goes up, there is a problem.A certain tension is present, like the atmosphere in a theater just before the curtain goes up.They give them about an hour there before the curtain goes up.Even in the opera the Passacaglia ends not when the curtain goes up but when it comes down.
curtaincurtain2 verb curtain something ↔ off→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
curtainThe windows were curtained in heavy velvet.Spread throughout the pond, seven pale piles of limbs, bared teeth, faces curtained off by their hair.Behind him, the windows were curtained with white cotton, receding on a brass bar into the corner.
Origin curtain (1200-1300) Old French curtine, from Late Latin cortina, from Latin cohors enclosure, court; COHORT