cur·va·ture | \ˈkər-və-ˌchu̇r, -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r\

Definition of curvature 

1 : the act of curving : the state of being curved

2 : a measure or amount of curving specifically : the rate of change of the angle through which the tangent to a curve turns in moving along the curve and which for a circle is equal to the reciprocal of the radius

3a : an abnormal curving (as of the spine)

b : a curved surface of an organ

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Synonyms for curvature


angle, arc, arch, bend, bow, crook, curve, inflection, turn, wind

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Examples of curvature in a Sentence

The lenses have different curvatures. the curvature of the earth The machine measures the eyeball's degree of curvature. a disease that can cause curvature of the spine
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Recent Examples on the Web

The location of this focal point depends on the curvature of the mirror—but that's not really important now. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "The Physics of How a Mirror Creates a Virtual World," 22 May 2018 The Milwaukee brace is used to treat spinal curvatures in children by rigid immobilization. Ross Dellenger,, "The Never-Before-Told Story of Kelly Orgeron, Colorful Wife of LSU's Colorful Head Coach," 2 July 2018 After a physical examination indicates scoliosis, doctors use x-rays to measure the curvature of the sign and determine the course of treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Scoliosis? Princess Eugenie Just Opened Up About Her Spinal Condition," 2 July 2018 The adjustments ranged from the positioning of his hands to the width of his feet to the curvature of his spine. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers gave Max Muncy a second chance, and he's making the most of it," 14 June 2018 Lasik surgeons use an ultraviolet laser to reduce the curvature of the cornea for people who are nearsighted, and to accent it for people who are farsighted. Author: Roni Caryn Rabin, Anchorage Daily News, "Blurred vision, burning eyes: This is a Lasik success?," 12 June 2018 Scoliosis is a disorder in which the spine has a sideways curvature. Korin Miller, SELF, "Princess Eugenie Shares an X-Ray From Her Childhood Scoliosis Surgery on Instagram," 3 July 2018 The goal of treatment is to decrease or stop progression of spinal curvature until the patient is done growing. Dr. Carolyn Kienstra And Dr. Alicia Morrisson, miamiherald, "Scoliosis a common condition that could require medical care," 12 June 2018 Oh, and researchers at Columbia University have developed a new way to hide secret messages in chunks of text by imperceptibly altering heights, widths, and curvatures of individual letters. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Security News This Week: T-Mobile Web Portal Exposed 74 Million Accounts," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curvature.' 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 curvature

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for curvature

The first known use of curvature was in 1603

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More Definitions for curvature



English Language Learners Definition of curvature

: the amount that something is curved

medical : a condition in which your spine is curved in an abnormal way


cur·va·ture | \ˈkər-və-ˌchu̇r \

Kids Definition of curvature

: a part having a somewhat round shape


cur·va·ture | \ˈkər-və-ˌchu̇(ə)r, -chər, -ˌt(y)u̇(ə)r \

Medical Definition of curvature 

1 : an abnormal curving (as of the spine) — see kyphosis, scoliosis

2 : a curved surface of an organ (as the stomach) — see greater curvature, lesser curvature

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Comments on curvature

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