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3 definitions found
 for Curfew
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Curfew \Cur"few\ (k[^u]r"f[=u]), n. [OE. courfew, curfu, fr. OF.
     cuevrefu, covrefeu, F. couvre-feu; covrir to cover + feu
     fire, fr. L. focus fireplace, hearth. See Cover, and
     Focus.]
     1. The ringing of an evening bell, originally a signal to the
        inhabitants to cover fires, extinguish lights, and retire
        to rest, -- instituted by William the Conqueror; also, the
        bell itself.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              He begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock.
                                                    --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The village curfew, as it tolled profound.
                                                    --Campbell.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. A utensil for covering the fire. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              For pans, pots, curfews, counters and the like.
                                                    --Bacon.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  curfew
      n 1: the time that the curfew signal is sounded
      2: a signal (usually a bell) announcing the start of curfew
         restrictions
      3: an order that after a specific time certain activities (as
         being outside on the streets) are prohibited

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  CURFEW.  The name of a law, established during the reign of the English 
  king, William, the conqueror, by which the people were commanded to dispense 
  with fire and candle at eight o'clock at night. 
       It was abolished in the reign of Henry I., but afterwards it signified 
  the time at which the curfew formerly took place. The word curfew is 
  derived, probably, from couvre few, or cover fire. 4 Bl. Com. 419, 420. 
  
  

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