Definitions

from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Rudely brief or abrupt, as in speech or manner. See Synonyms at gruff.
  • adj. Using few words; terse.
  • adj. Having been shortened.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Brief or terse, especially to the point of being rude.
  • adj. Short or concise

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Characterized by excessive brevity; short; rudely concise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Short; concise; compressed.
  • Short and dry; tartly abrupt; brusk.
  • A contraction of current: common in acct. curt., account current.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. brief and to the point; effectively cut short
  • adj. marked by rude or peremptory shortness

Etymologies

Middle English, short, brief, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin curtus; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin curtusĀ ("shortened"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He said little of himself, but as he went on in short, curt sentences the picture grew more distinct, and to Virginia the man became more and more prominent in it.

    Conjuror's House A Romance of the Free Forest

  • Loder talked continuously, sometimes in short, curt sentences, sometimes with ironic touches of humor; he talked until

    The Masquerader

  • He would speak a curt farewell and step out of the lives of the two.

    Harrigan

  • Another German "fashion", the way they go about things, could be described as curt, without hesitation, and always adequate.

    Colorado Headline News

  • you know curt, that is the trouble reviewing stuff nobody does first.

    FRANKENSTEIN '69 by Ed Martin (Olympia 1969)

  • Unless they actually meant to be 'curt' to someone, like actually being rude to customers ...

    merrickal Diary Entry

  • "I mind well enough, I reckon," I said, kind of curt-like.

    Further Chronicles of Avonlea

  • Ling Chu, his impassive Chinese servant, had observed those symptoms of perplexity before, but now there was something new in his master's demeanour -- a kind of curt irritation, an anxiety which in the Hunter of

    The Daffodil Mystery

  • I remember one woman had a journey where the plants were smoking cigarettes and were kind of curt with her.

    Chicago Reader

  • I hope Alexis doesn't get screwed with the new number - the judges were kind of curt with her.

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Comments

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  • In addition, curt means short in linear extent (length).

    June 3, 2012

  • Polite, but cutting at the same time.

    July 19, 2009


  • MISS GIDDENS
    I mean - I've met the two maids, and the cook, and her husband, the gardener. But I was wondering if - if perhaps there was someone I hadn't met?

    MRS. GROSE
    (with a short, curt laugh, swiping a chair with her duster)
    Bless you, I wish there was! We could use another pair of hands around here!

    May 19, 2008