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


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 filing describes a clear plan for Virgin Galactic: tickets going for $250,000 each, promising several minutes of weightlessness and views of the curvature of Earth. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Richard Branson's Plans for Space Tourism Sure Are Aggressive," 11 Sep. 2019 Straighten out Over time, looking down can even cause the neck’s natural curvature to point in the wrong direction. Detroit Free Press, "Are phones causing 'tech neck' pain?," 22 July 2019 Many properties of the circle don’t survive the transformation — the circle’s smooth curvature is gone, and the area inside the square is less than the area inside the circle. Quanta Magazine, "Tinkertoy Models Produce New Geometric Insights," 5 Sep. 2018 And, of course, every room will have a stellar view of the curvature of the Earth. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Spending a Night at a Space Hotel Looks Like," 6 Sep. 2019 According to Penrose’s model, a discrepancy in the curvature of space and time could accumulate during a superposition, eventually destroying it. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Eye Quantum-Gravity Interface," 31 Oct. 2013 This is the new home for customers to earn their astronaut wings, by rocketing into the upper atmosphere aboard its fleet of SpaceShipTwo vehicles, see the curvature of the Earth and experience weightlessness. Richard Tribou,, "Virgin Galactic gives inside look to new spaceport," 16 Aug. 2019 While general relativity regards gravity as the curvature of space, special explains the relationship between time and space. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Hubble spies something mysterious around a supermassive black hole," 11 July 2019 Virgin Galactic already has about 700 customers ready to pay at least $250,000 for a 90-minute flight to the edge of space, allowing them to experience weightlessness and see the curvature of Earth. Bloomberg,, "Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space-tourism venture is going public," 9 July 2019

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

1 Oct 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



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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Comments on curvature

What made you want to look up curvature? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


fear of the number 13

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