Pronunciation Noun

curse (plural curses)

  1. A supernatural detriment or hindrance; a bane.
  2. A prayer or imprecation that harm may befall someone.
  3. The cause of great harm, evil, or misfortune; that which brings evil or severe affliction; torment.
    • 1602, William Shakespeare, Toilus and Cressida, Act II, sc. 3:
      The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance ...
  4. A vulgar epithet.
  5. (slang, dated, derogatory, usually with "the") A woman's menses.
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: juron
  • Italian: imprecazione
  • Portuguese: praga, palavra de baixo calão, vulgaridade, obscenidade
  • Russian: руга́тельство
  • Spanish: mala palabra, maldición

curse (curses, present participle cursing; past and past participle cursed)

  1. (transitive) To place a curse upon (a person or object).
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0105 ↗:
      Captain Edward Carlisle […] felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, […] ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do. He cursed the fate which had assigned such a duty, cursed especially that fate which forced a gallant soldier to meet so superb a woman as this under handicap so hard.
  2. To call upon divine or supernatural power to send injury upon; to imprecate evil upon; to execrate.
    • Bible, Book of Exodus xxii. 28
      Thou shalt not […] curse the ruler of thy people.
  3. (transitive) To speak or shout a vulgar curse or epithet.
  4. (intransitive) To use offensive or morally inappropriate language.
    • Bible, Gospel of Matthew xxi. 74
      Then began he to curse and to swear.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene ii]:
      His spirits hear me, / And yet I need must curse.
    Synonyms: swear
  5. To bring great evil upon; to be the cause of serious harm or unhappiness to; to furnish with that which will be a cause of deep trouble; to afflict or injure grievously; to harass or torment.
    • 1703, Alexander Pope, Thebais
      On impious realms and barbarous kings impose / Thy plagues, and curse 'em with such sons as those.
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations

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