curtains


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

cur·tain

 (kûr′tn)
n.
1. A piece of fabric or other material that hangs in a window or open space as a decoration, shade, screen, or divider.
2. Something that functions as or resembles a screen, cover, divider, or barrier: the curtain of mist before the mountain; a heavy curtain of artillery fire.
3.
a. The movable screen or drape in a theater or hall that separates the stage from the auditorium or that serves as a backdrop.
b. The rising or opening of a theater curtain at the beginning of a performance or act.
c. The time at which a theatrical performance begins or is scheduled to begin.
d. The fall or closing of a theater curtain at the end of a performance or act.
4. The part of a rampart or parapet connecting two bastions or gates.
5. Architecture A curtain wall.
6. curtains Slang
a. The end.
b. Absolute ruin: "If the employee doesn't shape up, it's curtains" (Business Week).
c. Death.
tr.v. cur·tained, cur·tain·ing, cur·tains
1. To provide (something) with a curtain or curtains.
2. To close off (something) with a curtain or curtains.

[Middle English cortine, from Old French, from Late Latin cōrtīna, from Latin cōrs, cōrt-, variant of cohors, court; see court.]

curtains

(ˈkɜːtənz)
pl n
1. informal death or ruin; the end: if the enemy see us it will be curtains for us.
2. (Hairdressing & Grooming) a hairstyle in which the hair is parted in the centre of the forehead and curved out over the temples

curtains

drapes
References in classic literature ?
On christmas night, a dozen girls piled onto the bed which was the dress circle, and sat before the blue and yellow chintz curtains in a most flattering state of expectancy.
Up under the wooden ceiling there were little half-windows with white curtains, and pots of geraniums and wandering Jew in the deep sills.
The dark green of the branches stood out and glistened against the white muslin curtains which draped the windows, and which puffed, floated, and flapped at the capricious will of a stiff breeze that swept up from the Gulf.
It rustled the silken garments of the ladies, and waved the long curls of the gentlemen's wigs, and shook the window-hangings and the curtains of the bedchambers; causing everywhere a singular stir, which yet was more like a hush.
I remember as a most pleasant impression the broad, clear front, its open windows and fresh curtains and the pair of maids looking out; I remember the lawn and the bright flowers and the crunch of my wheels on the gravel and the clustered treetops over which the rooks circled and cawed in the golden sky.
Seeing, now, that there were no curtains to the window, and that the street being very narrow, the house opposite commanded a plain view into the room, and observing more and more the indecorous figure that Queequeg made, staving about with little else but his hat and boots on; I begged him as well as I could, to accelerate his toilet somewhat, and particularly to get into his pantaloons as soon as possible.
It was a two-story building, with a porch in front, and a very fancy scrollwork around the edges; it was complete in every tiniest detail, even the doorknob, and there was a hammock on the porch and white lace curtains in the windows.
He looked wistfully on the velvet carpets, and the before unimagined splendors of mirrors, pictures, statues, and curtains, and, like the Queen of Sheba before Solomon, there was no more spirit in him.
I FOUND Clarence alone in his quarters, drowned in melancholy; and in place of the electric light, he had reinstituted the ancient rag-lamp, and sat there in a grisly twilight with all curtains drawn tight.
Well, as I was saying about the parlor, there was beautiful curtains on the windows: white, with pictures painted on them of castles with vines all down the walls, and cattle coming down to drink.
The window of the room had no curtains, for that side of the house had long been unoccupied, and through this window he caught sight of something which surprised and interested him.
I don't know what gives it that simply gorgeous look, whether it's the full curtains, or that elegant screen, or Rebecca's lamp; but you certainly do have a faculty for fixing up.