Cur´few Pronunciation: kûr´fū
|n.||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.|
|2.||A utensil for covering the fire.|
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.