AskDefine | Define curtail

Dictionary Definition



1 place restrictions on; "curtail drinking in school" [syn: restrict, curb, cut back]
2 terminate or abbreviate before its intended or proper end or its full extent; "My speech was cut short"; "Personal freedom is curtailed in many countries" [syn: clip, cut short]

User Contributed Dictionary



courtault, from court + |-ault


  • italbrac RP /kɜːˈteɪl/
  • italbrac US /kɚˈteɪl/
  • Rhymes with: -eɪl


  1. To limit or restrict.
    Their efforts to curtail spending didn't quite succeed.
  2. To shorten or abridge the duration of something; to truncate.
    When the audience grew restless, the speaker curtailed her speech.
  3. To cut short the tail of a horse.


to limit or restrict
  • Croatian: ograničiti, stegnuti
  • French: restreindre
  • German: beschränken, beschneiden, drosseln, kürzen
to shorten or abridge
  • Croatian: skratiti, smanjiti
  • French: écourter, abréger
  • German: beschneiden, stutzen, verkürzen

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abate, abbreviate, abrade, abridge, abstract, arrest, bate, bereave, bleed, bob, boil down, bridle, capsulize, check, circumscribe, clip, coarct, compact, compress, concentrate, condense, consolidate, constrain, constrict, constringe, contain, contract, control, cool, cool off, cramp, crop, curb, cut, cut back, cut down, cut off, cut off short, cut short, damp, dampen, decelerate, decrease, deduct, deflate, depreciate, depress, deprive, deprive of, derogate, detract, diminish, disentitle, disparage, divest, dock, dompt, downgrade, drain, draw, draw in, draw together, ease one of, eat away, elide, enjoin, epitomize, erode, extract, file away, foreshorten, govern, guard, hinder, hold, hold at bay, hold back, hold fast, hold in, hold in check, hold in leash, hold up, impair, inhibit, keep, keep back, keep from, keep in, keep in check, keep under control, knit, lay under restraint, leach, lessen, lighten one of, lower, milk, mine, minify, mow, narrow, nip, pare, poll, pollard, prohibit, prune, pucker, pucker up, pull, pull in, purify, purse, reap, recap, recapitulate, reduce, refine, rein, rein in, remove, restrain, retard, retrench, roll back, rub away, scale down, set back, shave, shear, shorten, simplify, slash, slow down, snub, solidify, step down, straiten, strangle, strangulate, stunt, subduct, subtract, sum up, summarize, synopsize, take away, take away from, take from, take in, tap, telescope, thin, thin out, trim, truncate, tune down, wear away, weed, withdraw, withhold, wrinkle
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