/kerr"tl/, adj.
1. Archaic. wearing a short frock: a curtal friar.
2. Obs. brief; curtailed.
3. a 16th-century bassoon.
4. Obs. an animal with a docked tail.
[1500-10; earlier courtault < MF, equiv. to court short (see CURT) + -ault, var. of -ald n. suffix; see RIBALD]

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also spelled  Curtall,  French  Courtaut,  Italian  Fagotto,  German  Dulzian,  
 Renaissance-era musical instrument and predecessor of the bassoon, with a double-back bore cut from a single piece of wood and built in sizes from treble to double bass (sometimes called the double curtal in England and the Choristfagott in Germany). The curtal was developed in the 16th century, probably in Italy, to be used with choirs as a bass that would be less clamorous than the brasses of the time.

      Both open and stopped curtals were produced, and some had perforated lids to soften the sound. “Curtal” also referred in England c. 1700 to the true bassoon.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Curtal — Cur tal (k[^u]r tal), a. [OF. courtault, F. courtaud, having a docked tail (cf. It. cortaldo), fr. court short, L. curtus. See {Curt}, and {Curtail}.] Curt; brief; laconic. [1913 Webster] Essays and curtal aphorisms. Milton. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Curtal — Cur tal, n. A horse with a docked tail; hence, anything cut short. [Obs] Nares. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Curtal ax — Cur tal ax (?ks ), Curtle ax Cur tle ax , Curtelasse Curte lasse (k?rt las). A corruption of {Cutlass}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • curtal ax — n. 〚altered /span> CUTLASS〛 Archaic a cutlass * * * …   Universalium

  • curtal — [kʉrt′ l] Obs. adj. [OFr curtald < court, short < L curtus, SHORT] shortened; curtailed n. a horse with a docked tail …   English World dictionary

  • curtal ax — n. [altered < CUTLASS] Archaic a cutlass …   English World dictionary

  • curtal — 1. noun /ˈkəːtəl/ a) A variety of short barrelled cannon. b) An early type of bassoon. 2. adjective /ˈkəːtəl/ Physically shortened; short. she had loosened her hair and changed into the curtal frock of sunbright cotton that he was …   Wiktionary

  • curtal — cur•tal [[t]ˈkɜr tl[/t]] adj. 1) archaic wearing a short frock: a curtal friar[/ex] 2) Obs. brief; curtailed 3) Obs. an animal with a docked tail • Etymology: 1500–10; earlier courtault < MF, =court short (see curt) + ault, var. of ald n.… …   From formal English to slang

  • curtal — adjective (obsolete) cut short a dog with a curtal tail • Similar to: ↑short • Usage Domain: ↑archaism, ↑archaicism …   Useful english dictionary

  • curtal — adjective Etymology: Middle French courtault, from court short, from Latin curtus Date: 1576 1. obsolete having a docked tail 2. obsolete brief, curtailed 3. archaic wearing a short frock …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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