- 1. (sometimes caps.) a barrier to understanding and the exchange of information and ideas created by ideological, political, and military hostility of one country toward another, esp. such a barrier between the Soviet Union and its allies and other countries.2. an impenetrable barrier to communication or information, esp. as imposed by rigid censorship and secrecy.[used by Winston Churchill in 1946 to describe the line of demarcation between Western Europe and the Soviet zone of influence]
* * *Political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the Soviet Union after World War II to seal off itself and its dependent eastern European allies from open contact with the West and other noncommunist areas.Winston Churchill employed the term in a speech in Fulton, Mo., U.S., about the division of Europe in 1946. The restrictions and the rigidity of the Iron Curtain eased slightly after Joseph Stalin's death in 1953, though the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 restored them. The Iron Curtain largely ceased to exist in 1989–90 with the communists' abandonment of one-party rule in eastern Europe.
* * *▪ European historythe political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) after World War II to seal off itself and its dependent eastern European allies from open contact with the West and other noncommunist areas. The term Iron Curtain had been in occasional and varied use as a metaphor since the 19th century, but it came to prominence only after it was used by the former British prime minister Winston Churchill (Churchill, Sir Winston) in a speech at Fulton, Missouri, U.S., on March 5, 1946, when he said of the communist (communism) states, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”The restrictions and the rigidity of the Iron Curtain were somewhat reduced in the years following Joseph Stalin (Stalin, Joseph)'s death in 1953, although the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 restored them. The Iron Curtain largely ceased to exist in 1989–90 with the communists' abandonment of one-party rule in eastern Europe.
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iron curtain — The phrase had its origin in the 18c with reference to a safety device lowered in theatres between the stage and the auditorium. Its figurative use referring to any impenetrable barrier evolved in the early 19c and it acquired its classic meaning … Modern English usage
Iron Curtain — n the Iron Curtain the name that was used for the border between the Communist countries of Eastern Europe and the rest of Europe … Dictionary of contemporary English
Iron Curtain — ► NOUN (the Iron Curtain) ▪ a notional barrier separating the former Soviet bloc and the West prior to the decline of communism in eastern Europe in 1989 … English terms dictionary
Iron Curtain — in reference to the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, famously coined by Winston Churchill March 5, 1946, in speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, but it had been used earlier in this context (e.g. by U.S. bureaucrat Allen W. Dulles … Etymology dictionary
iron curtain — n. [prob. calque of Ger eiserner vorhang, as used by Joseph Goebbels: popularized by Sir Winston Churchill in a speech (1946)] 1. [often I C ] a barrier of secrecy and censorship regarded as isolating the Soviet Union and other countries in its… … English World dictionary
Iron Curtain — The Iron Curtain was the symbolic, ideological, and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II until the end of the Cold War, roughly 1945 to 1991. At both sides of the Iron Curtain, the states… … Wikipedia
Iron Curtain — 1) N PROPER: the N People referred to the border that separated the Soviet Union and the communist countries of Eastern Europe from the Western European countries as the Iron Curtain. The collapse of the Iron Curtain had immediate impact on the… … English dictionary
Iron Curtain — Following the end of World War II, there was growing fear concerning the domination of Eastern European countries by the Soviet Union (USSR). Speaking in Fulton, Missouri, on 5 March 1946, British prime minister Winston Churchill warned of the … Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era
iron curtain — noun Date: 1819 1. an impenetrable barrier < the iron curtain between the ego and the unconscious C. J. Rolo > 2. a political, military, and ideological barrier that cuts off and isolates an area; specifically often capitalized one formerly… … New Collegiate Dictionary
Iron Curtain — noun (the Iron Curtain) a notional barrier separating the former Soviet bloc and the West prior to the decline of communism in eastern Europe in 1989 … English new terms dictionary