ring down the curtain (on something)(redirected from they ring down the curtain)
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ring down the curtain (on something)
1. To bring a performance or act of a play to an end by lowering the theater curtain. The phrase refers to the practice of ringing a bell to signal the lowering of the curtain in the theater. The audience gave the performance a standing ovation as the theater rang down the curtain. The shocking twist at the end of the second act left the audience in stunned silence as the curtain was rung down.
2. To bring about or signal the end of something. The company announced that it will ring down the curtain after nearly 50 years of business. The government is ringing down the curtain on the controversial program next month.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
ring down the curtain on
Bring something to an end, as in We'd best get to that grand old hotel before they ring down the curtain on it. This idiom alludes to the old practice of signaling that a theater curtain be lowered at the ring of a bell. Similarly, ring up the curtain on refers to a bell rung to begin a performance and came to mean starting anything, as in Their contribution rang up the curtain on the fund drive. The figurative use of these terms dates from the early 1900s.
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.
ring down (or up) the curtainmark the end (or the beginning) of an enterprise or event.
The reference here is to the ringing of a bell in a theatre as the signal to raise or lower the stage curtain at the beginning or end of a performance. Compare with bring down the curtain on (at curtain).
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
ring down the curtain
To end a performance, event, or action.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ring down the curtain (on), to
To bring something to a conclusion. In the nineteenth-century theater a bell rung backstage was often used as a signal to lower the curtain, signifying the end of a scene or act. Thackeray recorded it thus (The End of the Play): “The play is done, the curtain drops, slow falling to the prompter’s bell.” It was transferred to other kinds of ending by the early twentieth century.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer