(redirected from curtals)
Also found in: Thesaurus.


n. Archaic
1. An animal with a docked tail.
2. See dulcian.
3. Something cut short or docked.
adj. Obsolete
Cut short or docked.

[Obsolete French courtault, from Old French, from court, short, from Latin curtus; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]


1. cut short
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) (of friars) wearing a short frock
3. an animal whose tail has been docked
4. something that is cut short
[C16: from Old French courtault animal whose tail has been docked, from court short, from Latin curtus; see curt]


(ˈkɜr tl)

1. Archaic. wearing a short frock: a curtal friar.
2. Obs. brief; curtailed.
3. Obs. an animal with a docked tail.
[1500–10; earlier courtault < Middle French, =court short (see curt) + -ault, variant of -ald n. suffix; see ribald]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.curtal - (obsolete) cut short; "a dog with a curtal tail"
archaicism, archaism - the use of an archaic expression
short - (primarily spatial sense) having little length or lacking in length; "short skirts"; "short hair"; "the board was a foot short"; "a short toss"
References in classic literature ?
Thou pratest like an ass," said Robin, "for I could send this shaft clean through thy proud heart before a curtal friar could say grace over a roast goose at Michaelmastide.
It would seem that the manuscript is here imperfect, for we do not find the reasons which finally induce the curtal Friar to amend the King's cheer.
She was carrying some ninety-six guns, among them thirty-three serpentines, twenty-six stone guns, ten murderers, five brass curtals, five brass falcons, besides six guns in her tops.