verb (used with object)
- to cut short; cut off a part of; abridge; reduce; diminish.
- (tr) to cut short; abridge
v.late 15c., from Middle French courtault “made short,” from court “short” (Old French cort, from Latin curtus; see curt) + -ault pejorative suffix of Germanic origin. Originally curtal; used of horses with docked tails, which probably influenced the spelling. Related: Curtailed; curtailing.