curvature

noun
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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Synonyms for curvature

Synonyms

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

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects 2 to 3% of the population, or an estimated 7 million people in the United States, according to the National Scoliosis Foundation website. Karen Ann Cullotta, chicagotribune.com, "New Trier student hosts benefit concert for National Scoliosis Foundation," 1 July 2019 The arc of history and its curvature toward justice? John Hirschauer, National Review, "Reparations for Everyone, Apparently," 26 June 2019 The new layout uses the dark-gray curvature of the hotel towers to both highlight Saarinen’s sculpture and blot out some of the surrounding mess. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "The TWA Hotel revives a magnificent, mid-century vision of the friendly skies," 12 June 2019 Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, severe cases of which happen to be more common in women. Lauren Depino, Glamour, "My Scoliosis Caused Me Pain and Shame—Then It Helped Me Learn to Find Alignment," 10 Apr. 2019 Those waves can briefly increase the curvature of the noodle at other points, leading to additional breaks elsewhere. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Solved: The Spaghetti Physics Problem That Stumped Richard Feynman," 16 Aug. 2018 But the curvature of the Earth dramatically lowers the distance at which low-flying missiles and aircraft can be detected by the ring of cruisers and destroyers protecting high value targets. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Wants To Build a “Ghost Fleet” of Drone Warships," 14 Mar. 2019 Offering six reclining seats accompanied by large windows to soak up the sights of going to the edge of space, the New Shepard will provide its riders with a few minutes’ worth of weightlessness and a view of the curvature of the Earth. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "A ticket on Jeff Bezos’ space tourism rocket will cost at least $200,000," 13 July 2018 Gravitational waves travel at the speed of light, but since the detectors are so far apart, there should be a slight time lag and a small adjustment in amplitude to account for the curvature of the Earth. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "No more doubts: Two independent studies confirm LIGO’s Nobel discovery," 16 Dec. 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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Statistics for curvature

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curvature

The first known use of curvature was in 1603

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More Definitions for curvature

curvature

noun

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

curvature

noun
cur·​va·​ture | \ ˈkər-və-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce curvature (audio) \

Kids Definition of curvature

: a part having a somewhat round shape

curvature

noun
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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Comments on curvature

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