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 Roughly 3% of children have some form of scoliosis, which is defined as a curvature of more than 10 degrees, and the ‘C’ curve is the most common. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel on #SeniorClass: Surgery can wait for Tri-West softball star pitching through pain," 22 Apr. 2020 Einstein’s equations relate the curvature of space-time to the energy and pressure of whatever’s in space. Quanta Magazine, "Finding Dark Energy in the Details," 18 Sep. 2014 Born with arthrogryposis, a curvature of the joints, Michele has been confined to a wheelchair for most of her life,. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "'American Idol' auditions: The clueless singer who confused Luke Bryan with Justin Timberlake," 9 Mar. 2020 Einstein pointed out that the curvature of spacetime near the sun would cause light from distant stars to bend when passing nearby, changing the stars’ apparent positions as seen from Earth. Tom Siegfried, Scientific American, "Physicists Probe Validity of Einstein’s Gravity on Cosmic Scales," 21 Jan. 2020 The upcoming transmission uses the same sensor technology that powers the vehicle's adaptive cruise control, coupled with 3D high-precision maps so that the vehicle is aware of the elevation, gradient, and curvature of a road. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Hyundai Develops Transmission That Uses Maps and Radar to Shift Gears," 20 Feb. 2020 Due to the curvature of the ear canals, debris can become trapped. Alesandra Dubin, Good Housekeeping, "The Right Way to Clean Your Dog's Ears, According to a Veterinarian," 22 Jan. 2020 Brickley, who spent four of his 11 NHL seasons in Boston, wasn’t the only one with a blatant disregard for the NHL’s blade curvature rules (no more than three-quarters of an inch). Matt Porter,, "Hockey is an honest game, or is it?," 18 Jan. 2020 Measurements of a particle’s curvature in a magnetic field can also be used to calculate momentum. Irene Klotz, Scientific American, "Space Station Dark Matter Experiment Gets Vital Repairs," 11 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for curvature

Time Traveler

The first known use of curvature was in 1603

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Statistics for curvature

Last Updated

29 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Curvature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 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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