a: a line especially when curved: as (1): the path of a moving point (2): a line defined by an equation so that the coordinates of its points are functions of a single independent variable or parameter
: a distribution indicating the relative performance of individuals measured against each other that is used especially in assigning good, medium, or poor grades to usually predetermined proportions of students rather than in assigning grades based on predetermined standards of achievement
:trend<a growth curve in advertising revenues>; especially: a prevalent trend or rate of progress —often used in the phrases ahead of the curve and behind the curve<companies that are behind the curve in adopting new technologies>
In mathematics, an abstract term used to describe the path of a continuously moving point (seecontinuity). Such a path is usually generated by an equation. The word can also apply to a straight line or to a series of line segments linked end to end. A closed curve is a path that repeats itself, and thus encloses one or more regions. Simple examples include circles, ellipses, and polygons. Open curves such as parabolas, hyperbolas, and spirals have infinite length.