1. often Iron Curtain The military, political, and ideological barrier established between the Soviet bloc and western Europe from 1945 to 1990.
2. A barrier that prevents free exchange of ideas and information: "That department and the editorial department are separated by an almost impenetrable iron curtain" (Brendan Gill).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.