top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce curfew (audio)

Dictionary definition of curfew

A restriction on the hours that people are allowed to be in a certain area or out in public.
"The city ordered a curfew soon after the rioting started."

Detailed meaning of curfew

Curfews are often implemented as a means of maintaining public order and safety, and are often enforced by law enforcement agencies. Curfews can be imposed for a variety of reasons, such as during times of civil unrest, natural disasters, or public health crises. The specific hours of a curfew can vary depending on the situation, but they are generally enforced at night. For example, a curfew may be imposed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., prohibiting people from being in public during those hours. Violating a curfew can result in penalties such as fines or arrest.

Example sentences containing curfew

1. The city imposed a strict curfew during the protests.
2. He missed the curfew and had to explain himself.
3. The curfew kept people off the streets at night.
4. Parents often set a curfew for their teenagers.
5. The curfew was lifted after the security threat passed.
6. The police enforced the curfew to maintain order.

History and etymology of curfew

The noun 'curfew' has its origins in the Old French word 'covrefeu,' which is a combination of 'cover' (from the Latin 'covrir,' meaning 'to cover') and 'feu' (from the Latin 'focus,' meaning 'fire'). In medieval Europe, a 'curfew' was originally a bell rung in the evening to signal the time at which people were required to cover or extinguish their fires, a safety measure aimed at preventing the spread of accidental fires in tightly packed, often wooden, urban areas. Over time, 'curfew' came to refer not only to the time when fires were to be covered but also to a general restriction on the hours during which people were allowed to be in a certain area or out in public, typically imposed for various reasons, including safety, social order, or security. The etymology of 'curfew' reflects its historical association with the regulation of activities during specific hours to maintain public safety.

Quiz: Find the meaning of curfew

Try Again!


Further usage examples of curfew

1. They violated the curfew to attend the midnight show.
2. The curfew limited nightlife in the city.
3. The curfew disrupted the normal flow of activities.
4. Curfew violations resulted in fines.
5. The curfew was extended due to the pandemic.
6. The curfew aimed to reduce noise complaints.
7. Teenagers often push the boundaries of curfew.
8. The curfew had a significant impact on businesses.
9. The curfew was necessary during the hurricane.
10. Curfew restrictions were gradually eased.
11. He received a warning for breaking curfew.
12. The curfew affected the city's tourism industry.
13. They respected the curfew to support public safety.
14. Curfew compliance was critical in times of crisis.
15. The curfew was imposed in order to maintain public safety.
16. He was arrested for violating the curfew.
17. The curfew hours were from 10pm to 6am.
18. The curfew was lifted after the situation had stabilized.
19. The curfew was a temporary measure to control the spread of the virus.
20. He was one of the few people who were exempt from the curfew.
21. The curfew was widely ignored by the public.
22. The curfew was a source of frustration and inconvenience for many.
23. The curfew was enforced by the police.
24. The curfew was extended in certain areas due to increased criminal activity.
25. The curfew was not effective in controlling the riots.
26. The curfew was lifted after several weeks.



restriction, liberty, freedom, allowance


Boundaries and Limits, Control and Discipline, Rigor and Rebellion, Rules and Regulations

bottom of page