I have googled the meaning of the word "curt", and google provided me with this definition "rudely brief.". When I searched for its meaning on Dictionary.com it seems that it can also be used to mean "short; shortened.". Is the second meaning archaic or can it be used in writing to say, for instance, "The curt mane of a horse."?

  • 3
    I think it's just called short mane horseforum.com/horse-grooming/short-mane-99965. To be curt, is give a short, sometimes, brusque reply or answer. Don't use it to substitute "short"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 16, 2017 at 11:50
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    It may have been different in the past, but these days I think curt is used almost exclusively to describe manner or language, not more generally.
    – Barmar
    Feb 16, 2017 at 16:53
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    “can it be used in writing to say, for instance, "The curt mane of a horse."?” Short answer: No. Slightly longer answer: Physical objects are never curt.
    – Kevin
    Feb 17, 2017 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


Your Dictionary.com
Care should be taken in the use of "curt".
While it may not always have a negative meaning by the user, a listener or reader might not always understand. Historically "curt" could be interchanged for "short", but "short" has become the much more common word.
Google Ngram.
It would be best not to use "curt" except in familiar contexts.

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