- Word History
|part of speech:
||a rule or law that sets a time after which everyone must be off the street and inside for the night. Curfews sometimes apply only to a particular group, such as young people.
comes from curfu
, an early English word for a bell rung at a set time in the evening. The early English word came from an early French word that meant "to cover fire." People were required to cover their fires at night to prevent them from burning out of control. As this usage disappeared, the word came to be used for the time when residents of a city must keep off the streets.