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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Curfew \Cur"few\ (k[^u]r"f[=u]), n. [OE. courfew, curfu, fr. OF. cuevrefu, covrefeu, F. couvre-feu; covrir to cover + feu fire, fr. L. focus fireplace, hearth. See Cover, and Focus.] 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. [1913 Webster] He begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock. --Shak. [1913 Webster] The village curfew, as it tolled profound. --Campbell. [1913 Webster] 2. A utensil for covering the fire. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] For pans, pots, curfews, counters and the like. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]