transitive verb Etymology: by folk etymology from earlier curtal to dock an animal's tail, from curtal, noun, animal with a docked tail, from Middle French courtault — more at curtal Date: 1580 to make less by or as if by cutting off or away some part <
curtail the power of the executive branch
curtail inflation
Synonyms: see shortencurtailer noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • curtail — cur‧tail [kɜːˈteɪl ǁ kɜːr ] verb [transitive] to reduce or limit something: • The Federal Bank s critics in Congress are eager to curtail its power. • Investment plans may be curtailed by high interest rates. * * * curtail UK US /kɜːˈteɪl/ verb… …   Financial and business terms

  • Curtail — Cur tail (k?r t?l), n. The scroll termination of any architectural member, as of a step, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Curtail — Cur*tail (k[u^]r*t[=a]l ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Curtailed} ( t[=a]ld ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Curtailing}.] [See {Curtal}.] To cut off the end or tail, or any part, of; to shorten; to abridge; to diminish; to reduce. [1913 Webster] I, that am… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • curtail — I verb abate, abbreviate, abridge, clip, coartare, cut, cut down, cut short, decrease, diminish, halt, lessen, lop, make smaller, minuere, pare, pare down, reduce, retrench, shorten, subtract, trim II index abate (lessen) …   Law dictionary

  • curtail — late 15c., from M.Fr. courtault made short, from court short (O.Fr. cort, from L. curtus; see CURT (Cf. curt)) + ault pejorative suffix of Germanic origin. Originally curtal; used of horses with docked tails, which probably influenced the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • curtail — *shorten, abbreviate, abridge, retrench Analogous words: reduce, *decrease, lessen: *cut, slash Antonyms: protract, prolong Contrasted words: *extend, lengthen, elongate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • curtail — [v] cut short; abridge abbreviate, boil down, chop, clip, contract, cramp, cut, cut back, decrease, diminish, dock, downsize, get to meat*, halt, lessen, lop, minify, pare down, put in nutshell*, reduce, retrench, roll back, shorten, slash, trim …   New thesaurus

  • curtail — ► VERB ▪ reduce in extent or quantity. DERIVATIVES curtailment noun. ORIGIN from obsolete curtal «horse with a docked tail», from Latin curtus, influenced by TAIL(Cf. ↑tailless) …   English terms dictionary

  • curtail — [kər tāl′] vt. [ME curtailen, altered (by assoc. with taillen < OFr taillier: see TAILOR) < OFr curtald, CURTAL] to cut short; reduce; abridge SYN. SHORTEN curtailment n …   English World dictionary

  • curtail — [[t]kɜː(r)te͟ɪl[/t]] curtails, curtailing, curtailed VERB If you curtail something, you reduce or limit it. [FORMAL] [V n] NATO plans to curtail the number of troops being sent to the region... [V n] I told Louie that old age would curtail her… …   English dictionary

  • curtail — UK [kɜː(r)ˈteɪl] / US [kɜrˈteɪl] verb [transitive] Word forms curtail : present tense I/you/we/they curtail he/she/it curtails present participle curtailing past tense curtailed past participle curtailed formal to reduce or limit something,… …   English dictionary

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