Curtain lecture
Curtain Cur"tain (k[^u]r"t[i^]n; 48), n. [OE.cortin, curtin,fr. OF. cortine, curtine, F. courtine, LL. cortina, curtian (in senses 1 and 2), also, small court, small inclosure surrounded by walls, from cortis court. See {Court}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A hanging screen intended to darken or conceal, and admitting of being drawn back or up, and reclosed at pleasure; esp., drapery of cloth or lace hanging round a bed or at a window; in theaters, and like places, a movable screen for concealing the stage. [1913 Webster]

2. (Fort.) That part of the rampart and parapet which is between two bastions or two gates. See Illustrations of {Ravelin} and {Bastion}. [1913 Webster]

3. (Arch.) That part of a wall of a building which is between two pavilions, towers, etc. [1913 Webster]

4. A flag; an ensign; -- in contempt. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Behind the curtain}, in concealment; in secret.

{Curtain lecture}, a querulous lecture given by a wife to her husband within the bed curtains, or in bed. --Jerrold. [1913 Webster]

A curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtues of patience and long-suffering. --W. Irving.

{The curtain falls}, the performance closes.

{The curtain rises}, the performance begins.

{To draw the curtain}, to close it over an object, or to remove it; hence: (a) To hide or to disclose an object. (b) To commence or close a performance.

{To drop the curtain}, to end the tale, or close the performance. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • curtain lecture — n. a private reprimand given by a wife to her husband: so called from the curtained beds in which such reproofs were conventionally given …   English World dictionary

  • curtain lecture — noun a private lecture to a husband by his wife • Hypernyms: ↑lecture, ↑speech, ↑talking to …   Useful english dictionary

  • curtain lecture — noun Etymology: from its originally being given behind the curtains of a bed Date: 1633 a private lecture by a wife to her husband …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • curtain lecture — n. private lecture or scolding a wife gives her husband before going to sleep at night …   English contemporary dictionary

  • curtain lecture — Older Use. a scolding administered in private by a wife to her husband. [1625 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • curtain lecture — noun dated a wife s private reprimand to her husband. Origin C17: orig. a reprimand given behind bed curtains …   English new terms dictionary

  • curtain lecture — cur′tain lec ture n. sts Older Use. a scolding administered in private by a wife to her husband • Etymology: 1625–35 …   From formal English to slang

  • curtain lecture — /ˈkɜtn lɛktʃə/ (say kertn lekchuh) noun (dated) a private scolding, especially one by a wife to her husband. {from the old style four poster bed with canopy and curtains, providing a private space within} …   Australian English dictionary

  • curtain-lecture — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Curtain — Cur tain (k[^u]r t[i^]n; 48), n. [OE.cortin, curtin,fr. OF. cortine, curtine, F. courtine, LL. cortina, curtian (in senses 1 and 2), also, small court, small inclosure surrounded by walls, from cortis court. See {Court}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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