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

Synonyms for curvature


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Our bodies also evolve each year in terms of curvature, muscle development or even weight loss. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, 11 Sep. 2021 Other idealizations are harder, like trying to determine the curvature of the Earth just by looking at this super-long terminal in the Atlanta airport. Rhett Allain, Wired, 24 Dec. 2021 Equivalent to one minute of latitude in navigational charts, a nautical mile (1.15 miles), is an international measurement standard typically used for traversing distances long enough that the curvature of the Earth begins to play a factor. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 4 Dec. 2021 The famous German scientist was working with Besso to test his theory of the relationship between gravitation and the space-time curvature by examining the anomaly of the planet Mercury’s orbit. Claire Parker, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Nov. 2021 The insider points out the screen curvature differences between the Ultra and the other Galaxy S22 models. Chris Smith, BGR, 12 Nov. 2021 That includes the darkness of space, the stars and the curvature of the Earth. J. George Gorant, Robb Report, 4 Nov. 2021 The crew will also be able to observe the curvature of the planet. Katie Song, Variety, 10 Oct. 2021 Neuromyelitis Optica had left her with scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 29 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of curvature

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About curvature

Time Traveler for curvature

Time Traveler

The first known use of curvature was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near curvature



curvature of field

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for curvature

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Curvature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for curvature



English Language Learners Definition of curvature

: the amount that something is curved
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on curvature

Nglish: Translation of curvature for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curvature for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about curvature


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!