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Cur"tain (kr"tn; 48), n. Etym: [OE.cortin, curtin,fr. OF. cortine, curtine, F. courtine, LL. cortina, curtian (in senses 1 and 2), also, small court, small enclosure surrounded by walls, from cortis court. See Court.]

1. A hanging screen intended to darken or conceal, and admitting of being drawn back or up, and recloses 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.

2. (Fort.)

Defn: That part of the rampart and parapet which is between two bastions or two gates. See Illustrations of Ravelin and Bastion.

3. (Arch.)

Defn: That part of a wall of a building which is between two pavilions, towers, etc.

4. A flag; an ensign; -- in contempt.
[Obs.] Shak. 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.
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 bring discussion to a close 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.

Cur"tain, v. t. [imp. & p.p. Curtained (-tnd; 48); p. pr. & vb. n. Curtaining.]

Defn: To inclose as with curtains; to furnish with curtains.
So when the sun in bed Curtained with cloudy red. Milton.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Curtain -
(1.) Ten curtains, each twenty-eight cubits long and four wide, made of fine linen, also eleven made of goat's hair, covered the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1; Exodus 36:8).
(2.) The sacred curtain, separating the Holy of Holies from the sanctuary, is designated by a different Hebrew word (peroketh). It is described as a "veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work" (Exodus 26:31; Leviticus 16:2; Numbers 18:7).
(3.) "Stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain" (Isaiah 40:22), is an expression used with reference to the veil or awning which Orientals spread for a screen over their courts in summer. According to the prophet, the heavens are spread over our heads as such an awning. Similar expressions are found in Psalms 104:2; compare Isaiah 44:24; Job 9:8.

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