Curfew is a rule or law that sets a time that certain people have to be off the streets. A town may set a curfew for teenagers, for example, although many parents impose a stricter curfew for their own kids.

Historically, a curfew was signaled by the ringing of a bell meant to alert residents that it was time to put out their hearth fires. The word curfew comes from an Old French word cuevrefeu, "cover fire," cuevre meaning to cover, and feu meaning fire. Over time, curfew has come to refer to getting people off the streets at night and into their homes, often during times of civil unrest.

Definitions of curfew

n an order that after a specific time certain activities (as being outside on the streets) are prohibited

Type of:
decree, edict, fiat, order, rescript
a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)

n a signal (usually a bell) announcing the start of curfew restrictions

Type of:
sign, signal, signaling
any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message

n the time that the curfew signal is sounded

Type of:
the point in time at which something must be completed

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.