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illustration Curtail



Part of speech: verb

Origin: French, late 15th century


Reduce in extent or quantity; impose a restriction on.

Examples of Curtail in a sentence

"Yolanda’s father curtailed her social life by grounding her for a week."

"Liam’s sore teeth really curtailed his food intake."

About Curtail

This word comes from the obsolete “curtal,” meaning “horse with a docked tail.” This stems from the French “courtault” by way of “court” meaning “short,” and from the Latin “curtus.” The change in the ending was due to association with “tail” and perhaps also with the French “tailler,” meaning “to cut.”

Did you Know?

When someone curtails their mortgage, it doesn’t mean they reduce the amount of money they’re putting toward it. A principal or partial curtailment is when a borrower makes an extra payment against the principal owed in a mortgage in order to reduce the outstanding balance. A total mortgage curtailment happens when the balance of the loan is paid off with a lump sum ahead of schedule.

illustration Curtail

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