The Meaning of curb: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of curb? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word curb, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What does the word curb mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word curb can be used as both a verb and a noun. As a verb, the word curb means to keep something under control or in its limits. The pronunciation of curb is kerb.

The word curb can also be used as a noun to refer to the edge of a road or part of a gutter where it intersects with a sidewalk. This bent roadway consisting of a line of curbstones is usually where people park, and there are restrictions implemented for street sweeping. The joined stones are brought together on the pavement curb for strengthening – and strong, they are. Curbs can easily damage vehicle wheels. The bend of the road leads many people to mistakenly call a curb a “curve.” This word is used in both American English in the United States and British English in the UK to reference adjacent paved areas on a terminal road system in which people can park and load passengers. You may also hear the term “curb stomp” in reference to a curb. 

Finally, the word curb is used in equestrian to refer to the riding or driving bit for a horse. The horse’s bit performs an action on the reins that puts pressure on the mouth, tongue and the horse’s lower jaw by leverage called a curb chain or strap, or a swelling that occurs on the back of the hind leg of a horse. This usually happens just behind the lowest part of the hock joint and it is due to strain or rupture of the ligament. This can cause lameness. 

The word curb also exists in many other languages. You may notice that some of these words are very similar to the word curb. This is because they have a common origin in Latin. Many English words are of Latin origin, as are other languages like Spanish, French, and other romance languages. This list of translations for the word curb is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Portuguese: freio‎ (masc.)
  •  German: Beschränkung‎ (fem.), Zurückhaltung‎ (fem.), Zwang‎ (masc.), Einschränkung‎ (fem.), Mäßigung‎ (fem.), Beherrschung‎ (fem.)
  •  Persian: مهار‎ (mahâr)
  •  Bulgarian: обуздаване‎ (neut.), спирачка‎ (fem.)

How can the word curb be used in a sentence?

The word curb can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try creating a set of flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your vocabulary and knowledge of definitions. Try to use this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are a few examples of curb to get your started.

He tried to use common sense to curb his quick temper in front of his daughter. He decided to place restrictions on his own behavior to attempt to teach her. 

They placed the frame and pieces of timber on the curb for the trash company to pick up. They left one single piece of wood behind, which frustrated them.

She tried to curb her taste for excesses to a lower intensity. She was spending a lot of money she didn’t have – she doesn’t make a lot when she serves drinks at the airport.

What is the origin of the word curb?

According to Etymonline, the word curb has been used as a verb since the early 16c and as a noun since late 15c Middle English. This comes from the 12c Old French courbe (modern French curb) and Latin curvus, from the Latin curvare. This is of Proto-Indo-European roots. One can add the suffix ble to make the related word curbable (adj.)

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word curb?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word curb. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know in order to expand your vocabulary as well as to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word curb is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  prevent
  •  suppress
  •  thwart
  •  slow down
  •  rim
  •  restraint
  •  retard
  •  contain
  •  stay
  •  impediment
  •  inhibit
  •  trammel
  •  slow
  •  stop
  •  master
  •  bottle up
  •  limit
  •  delay
  •  restrict
  •  halt
  •  control
  •  moderate
  •  handicap
  •  hold back
  •  curtail
  •  reduce
  •  stem
  •  obstruct
  •  constraint
  •  constrain
  •  brake
  •  limitation
  •  diminish
  •  hinder
  •  foil
  •  hold
  •  check
  •  restriction
  •  block
  •  stifle
  •  hamper
  •  bridle
  •  hindrance
  •  conquer
  •  arrest
  •  subdue
  •  fetter
  •  restrain
  •  rein
  •  impede
  •  repress

There are also many words that have the opposite meaning to the word curb. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are also very useful to know if you are looking to expand your knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the word curb is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  offer option
  •  come up with opportunity
  •  provide opportunity
  •  offer opportunity
  •  give option
  •  encouragement
  •  provide a way
  •  open up a chance
  •  present an opportunity
  •  give the chance
  •  offer an opportunity
  •  latitude
  •  promote
  •  give opportunity
  •  guide
  •  offer possibility
  •  create a chance
  •  comfort
  •  support
  •  further
  •  inspire
  •  confer the possibility
  •  abet
  •  open up an opportunity
  •  create option
  •  aid
  •  bring an opportunity
  •  empower with the option
  •  grant the opportunity
  •  afford an opportunity
  •  drive
  •  broaden
  •  boost
  •  afford ground for
  •  afford opportunity
  •  help
  •  make an opportunity
  •  give chance
  •  bring opportunity
  •  open up opportunity
  •  enliven
  •  create opportunity
  •  allow
  •  offer chance
  •  opening
  •  back
  •  encourage
  •  foster
  •  afford ground
  •  assist

Overall, the word curb means to rein in or limit, or a piece of sidewalk on the side of the road. This can also refer to the crown piece of the bridle in the chin groove that is used to leverage advantage over the rein action of a horse, as well a a swelling on the back part of the hind leg of a horse.


  1. Curb synonyms – 2 937 Words and Phrases for Curb | Thesaurus 
  2. Curb antonyms – 1 877 Opposites of Curb 
  3. Curb definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. curb: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  5. curb | Origin and meaning of curb | Online Etymology Dictionary