cur·​va·​ture | \ ˈkər-və-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce curvature (audio) , -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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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 But the lower-dimensional system that encodes information about that bendy space-time is a purely quantum system that lacks any sense of curvature, gravity or even geometry. Quanta Magazine, "What Is a Particle?," 12 Nov. 2020 Slot the same object sideways into an entertainment center, and the venting array vanishes, as does its clever curvature. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Xbox Series X unleashed: Our unrestricted preview," 15 Oct. 2020 The natural wheel curvature supports and stretches your back simultaneously, while also giving you a mini-massage. Popular Science, "Fascia-busting products for rolling out your sore muscles," 8 Oct. 2019 To take the curvature of the Earth into account, surveyors used spheroid models—rough, rounder precursors to the more mathematically complex ellipsoid models. Freddie Wilkinson, National Geographic, "How do you measure Everest? It's complicated by frostbite—and politics.," 28 Sep. 2020 Both Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin’s space tourism plans will let passengers see the curvature of the Earth on the short flights, and the companies then plan for quick turnaround to launch the next set of paying customers. Richard Tribou,, "NASA to test Mars-landing systems while hitching ride on Blue Origin flight," 24 Sep. 2020 Lumbar support on the mesh back is very good and the curve is well-placed and protrusive enough to support my slightly more pronounced back curvature perfectly. Corey Gaskin And Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Technica ultimate buying guide for your home office setup," 11 Sep. 2020 Maslo and her team are softening the hard curvature of the swale so that tidal surges entering from the river below the New Jersey Turnpike don’t rush in at high velocity. Jen Schwartz, Scientific American, "Surrendering to Rising Seas," 1 Aug. 2018 Out the window is the curvature of the earth, a slim crescent of atmosphere, and above that, the expanse of dark space. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Russian Rocket Launch Failed Spectacularly In Just 118 Seconds," 3 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of curvature was in 1603

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Statistics for curvature

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curvature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for curvature


How to pronounce curvature (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of curvature

technical : 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 How to pronounce curvature (audio) \

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 How to pronounce curvature (audio) \

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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