Meaning of curb in English:


Pronunciation /kəːb/

See synonyms for curb

Translate curb into Spanish


  • 1A check or restraint on something.

    ‘plans to introduce tougher curbs on insider dealing’
    • ‘There should also be strict curbs on extravaganzas using power.’
    • ‘On Dec. 14, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board proposed stricter curbs on audit firms selling tax services to their clients.’
    • ‘Although some of his reforms were laudable, they were combined with strict curbs on the powers of the parliaments, convincing many that the hour of despotism had struck.’
    • ‘Despite the rosy growth forecasts, it has announced strict curbs on the industry.’
    • ‘But a number of trusts have said they should be allowed more flexibility over the curbs on hours, which will become even stricter next year when the European Working Time Directive limits the maximum to 58 per week.’
    • ‘And health experts predict curbs on sugar and fat will soon be introduced to prevent manufacturers adding excessive amounts to their products.’
    • ‘It all began with curbs on open grazing and felling of trees, control on population growth and ban on dowry and alcoholism.’
    • ‘His fate was also sealed by thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets on Friday night to protest strict curbs on bank deposits and his appointment of a Cabinet many believed was rife with corruption.’
    • ‘Central to the government's bid to rein in economic growth have been administrative curbs on lending, especially to money-losing state enterprises.’
    • ‘One of Britain's leading surgeons has called on the government to introduce curbs on the sale of alcohol, limiting the amount that customers can consume per visit to a pub or bar.’
    • ‘He also suggested stringent curbs on slow-moving vehicles must be laid on flyovers, while preventing them from overspeeding at the same time.’
    • ‘It is the received wisdom of the modern world that all wild creatures, including snakes, should suffer no curbs on their freedom or on the indulgence of their natural instincts, however distasteful those instincts may be.’
    • ‘Banks worldwide are targeting mainland lending, credit card, insurance and fund management services as it prepares to meet World Trade Organisation rules by lifting curbs on lenders.’
    • ‘Claiming there were no curbs on academic freedom, the minister said the violations reported by the rights group were no more than ‘individual incidents’.’
    • ‘Now that there are curbs on smoking in public places and increased awareness on the dangers of passive smoking, cigarette - smoking shows signs of declining, we are told.’
    • ‘The proposals are part of a wide-ranging White Paper on public health which also includes curbs on junk food advertising and the introduction of NHS personal health trainers.’
    • ‘The latest notion from FIFA - the game's world governing body - is to introduce curbs on how many games football's top performers should play in a season.’
    • ‘Beijing is encouraging the development of big retail groups as part of attempts to strengthen the industry before it lifts curbs on overseas retailers.’
    • ‘On the one side, technology has increased the choice available for the people and on the other governments are trying to put curbs on free flow of information.’
    • ‘Despite curbs on satellite TV, many get such broadcasts, as well as bootleg videotapes and smuggled publications.’
    restraint, restriction, check, brake, rein, control, limitation, limit, constraint, stricture
    View synonyms
  • 2

    (also curb bit)
    A type of bit with a strap or chain attached which passes under a horse's lower jaw, used as a check.

    ‘Too often I see people with track horses, who they are afraid of, sticking a big curb bit in their mouth.’
    • ‘The curb bit promises collection - contained energy, not free forward movement - and hence submission to the will of the rider.’
    • ‘The soldiers ride bays or chestnuts and use United States Army regulation saddles, saddlecloths, halters, bridles, and curb bits.’
    • ‘Because of this exaggerated pressure and release, curb bits impede true feel and understanding between you and your horse.’
    • ‘These horsemen rode with short stirrups, in snaffle bridles with a loose rein, in an uncollected, free forward manner that was the exact opposite of the extreme collection of the Continental riding school, with its emphasis on curb bits.’
  • 3North American

    variant spelling of kerb

  • 4A swelling on the back of a horse's hock, caused by spraining a ligament.


[with object]
  • 1Restrain or keep in check.

    ‘she promised she would curb her temper’
    • ‘Worries over job security will curb consumer spending.’
    • ‘In short, critics say, it could mean a return to the undisciplined days of a decade ago, before many governments had to curb runaway spending to qualify for the euro.’
    • ‘When she's not curbing her enthusiasm, where does she hang her hat?’
    • ‘But it hasn't curbed my appetite… it's almost like it's been sent into overdrive.’
    • ‘The commission was hearing submissions on ways to curb the spread of HIV in prison.’
    • ‘Action is being demanded to curb the spread of advertising posters in Bolton.’
    • ‘The club has disinfection mats in place to curb the spread of Foot and Mouth disease.’
    • ‘The experts and the central bank will discuss possible ways to curb lending growth.’
    • ‘Fearing rampant speculation, the government has ordered banks to curb lending for property investment.’
    • ‘Certain good fats actually help curb your appetite, thus speeding up weight loss.’
    • ‘He congratulated the police and council on working effectively together to curb anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘They are the first steps in action to curb anti-social behaviour and are voluntary.’
    • ‘In order to curb inflation, money growth must fall below growth in economic output.’
    • ‘Besides, does anyone think youth policies will curb wage inflation among players?’
    • ‘But he also needs the cooperation of the people in curbing the menace.’
    • ‘Two citizen organizations are working to curb the excesses of commercialism in our society.’
    • ‘At one extreme governments brought in new laws to curb what they saw as seditious journalism.’
    • ‘The tobacco companies offer the perfect illustration of the ways that corporations can effectively curb discussions about their products.’
    • ‘He also stated that the government was trying to produce a single regulation to curb smuggling across the country.’
    • ‘Surely there's a way to curb smoking without seriously hampering such businesses.’
    restrain, hold back, keep back, hold in, repress, suppress, fight back, bite back, keep in check, check, control, keep under control, rein in, keep a tight rein on, contain, discipline, govern, bridle, tame, subdue, stifle, smother, swallow, choke back, muzzle, silence, muffle, strangle, gag
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Restrain (a horse) by means of a curb.
      ‘both men were instinctively curbing their horses’
      • ‘The educational authorities have moved swiftly to curb this bucking bronco, whose 100 percent pass rates were the wonder of the land.’
      • ‘It didn't help that his holographic partner, a die-hard environmentalist, kept urging him to clean up after the mess; curbing a horse is not easy to do.’
      • ‘The raw energy, just curbed by their athletic riders, of the Parthenon horses comes to us straight from the ice age, from the dawn of humanity.’
  • 2US Lead (a dog being walked) near the curb to urinate or defecate, in order to avoid soiling buildings, pavements, etc.


Late 15th century (denoting a strap fastened to the bit): from Old French courber ‘bend, bow’, from Latin curvare (see curve).