Pronunciation: (kûr'tn), [key]
1. a hanging piece of fabric used to shut out the light from a window, adorn a room, increase privacy, etc.
2. a movable or folding screen used for similar purposes.
3. Chiefly New Eng.a window shade.
a. a set of hanging drapery for concealing all or part of the stage or set from the view of the audience.
b. the act or time of raising or opening a curtain at the start of a performance: an 8:30 curtain.
c. the end of a scene or act indicated by the closing or falling of a curtain: first-act curtain.
d. an effect, line, or plot solution at the conclusion of a performance: a strong curtain; weak curtain.
e. music signaling the end of a radio or television performance.
f. (used as a direction in a script of a play to indicate that a scene or act is concluded.)
5. anything that shuts off, covers, or conceals: a curtain of artillery fire.
6. Archit.a relatively flat or featureless extent of wall between two pavilions or the like.
7. Fort.the part of a wall or rampart connecting two bastions, towers, or the like.
8. curtains, Slang.the end; death, esp. by violence: It looked like curtains for another mobster.
9. draw the curtain on or over,
a. to bring to a close: to draw the curtain on a long career of public service.
b. to keep secret.
10. lift the curtain on,
a. to commence; start.
b. to make known or public; disclose: to lift the curtain on a new scientific discovery.
to provide, shut off, conceal, or adorn with, or as if with, a curtain.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.