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1. A short play or skit that precedes the main performance. I have always wanted to be a stage actor, but I've only been cast in a few tiny curtain raisers so far, playing to mostly empty theaters.
2. By extension, any event or performance that precedes the main attraction. Some local singer performed a few songs as a curtain raiser, but no one really paid him much attention until he finally announced the band was about to come on stage. The curtain-raiser match between the two university teams proved far more exciting than the professional football match that everyone had paid to see.
1. That which causes one intense or extreme terror or fright. Driving home on such an icy mountain road in the middle of the night was a hair-raiser. I thought I would go sliding off a cliff at any moment! I'm usually not too affected by horror movies, but this one's a hair-raiser. I don't know how I'll get to sleep tonight.
2. That which causes one intense excitement or thrills. That roller coaster is a real hair-raiser—my heart's still racing! His story was a hair-raiser. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!
Someone who is apt to act wildly and cause or get into trouble. Yeah, I was a heller in college, but those days are long over—I have a job and a family now. You two are going to be grounded for life if you keep acting like total hellers.
Someone who is apt to act wildly and cause or get into trouble. Yeah, I was a hellraiser in college, but those days are long over—I have a job and a family now. You two are going to be grounded for life if you keep acting like total hellraisers.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Preliminary event, as in This limited attack on the chairman is just a curtain raiser for the concerted effort to oust him . This term literally refers to a short play or skit presented before the main theatrical production. It began to be transferred to other preliminaries about 1940.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
hellerand hell raiser
n. a rowdy person; a hell-raising person. (Use caution with hell.) Jimmy is turning out to be a real hell raiser. A bunch of hell raisers kept me up late last night.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.