1. A concrete border or row of joined stones forming part of a gutter along the edge of a street.
2. An enclosing framework, such as that around a skylight.
3. A raised margin along an edge used to confine or strengthen.
4. Something that checks or restrains: High interest rates put a curb on spending.
5. A chain or strap that passes under a horse's lower jaw and serves in conjunction with the bit to restrain the horse.
6. A market, originally on a street or sidewalk, for trading securities that are not listed on a stock exchange.
tr.v. curbed, curb·ing, curbs
a. To check, restrain, or control (an impulse or activity, for example); rein in. See Synonyms at restrain.
b. To prevent (a person or group) from doing something or acting in a certain way.
2. To lead (a dog) off the sidewalk into the gutter so that it can excrete waste.
3. To furnish with a curb.
[Blend of Middle English, curved piece of wood (from Old French corbe, curved object, from corbe, curved, from Latin curvus) and Middle English corbe, horse strap (from corben, to bow down, halt, from Old French corber, to bow down, from Latin curvāre, from curvus, curved, bent; see sker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.