\ ˈkärv How to pronounce carve (audio) \
carved; carving

Definition of carve

transitive verb

1 : to cut with care or precision carved fretwork
2 : to make or get by or as if by cutting often used with outcarve out a career
3 : to cut into pieces or slices carved the turkey

intransitive verb

1 : to cut up and serve meat
2 : to work as a sculptor or engraver

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Other Words from carve

carver noun

Synonyms for carve


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Examples of carve in a Sentence

We carved an ice sculpture. Who is going to carve the turkey? He carved while I made the gravy.
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Recent Examples on the Web But since being elected to the Senate in 2018, Hawley has worked laboriously to carve out his own populist lane, offering policy that departs from GOP orthodoxy without embracing the Left’s solutions. Zaid Jilani, Washington Examiner, "Man in the arena," 31 Dec. 2020 Ursa navigates tumultuous, occasionally violent relationships and works to carve out a place for herself as an artist. The New Yorker, "The Best Books We Read in 2020," 1 Dec. 2020 Many families are exchanging recipes over email, or preparing to carve their holiday turkeys over Zoom, for example. George Kohlrieser, Quartz at Work, "How to keep up employee morale during a difficult holiday season," 24 Nov. 2020 The pandemic has motivated many to transform their workspaces, refresh their living room layouts, rethink kitchen pantry setups, and carve out nooks just for self-care. Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, "How Our Favorite Black Designers Are Finding Comfort During Quarantine," 9 Oct. 2020 Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin has restructured his deal to carve out $8 million in cap space for this season, sources said. David Moore, Dallas News, "Cowboys restructure Zack Martin’s contract to help increase salary cap space, source says," 9 Sep. 2020 The factions pass out positions in government ministries and public institutions to followers or carve out business sectors for them, ensuring their backing. Bassem Mroue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Lebanon at 100: Upheaval, crises, a new prime minister," 31 Aug. 2020 The factions pass out positions in government ministries and public institutions to their followers or carve out business sectors for them, ensuring their backing. Samya Kullab, Star Tribune, "Weeks after blast, Lebanon patronage system immune to reform," 25 Aug. 2020 That’s a lot for women who return to careers and have to carve out time to pump throughout their day. Molly Longman,, "Chrissy Teigen Gets Real About Depression, Breastfeeding, & Formula Shaming," 1 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of carve

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for carve

Middle English kerven, from Old English ceorfan; akin to Old High German kerban to notch, Greek graphein to scratch, write

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Time Traveler for carve

Time Traveler

The first known use of carve was before the 12th century

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Statistics for carve

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Carve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for carve


How to pronounce carve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of carve

: to make (something, such as a sculpture or design) by cutting off pieces of the material it is made of
: to cut (something, such as a pattern or design) into a surface
: to create (something) by cutting into a surface


\ ˈkärv How to pronounce carve (audio) \
carved; carving

Kids Definition of carve

1 : to cut with care He carved a block of wood to use as a bowl.
2 : to make or get by cutting Artists were carving ice sculptures.
3 : to slice and serve (meat) Would you carve the turkey?

Other Words from carve

carver noun

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