curve

adjective
\ ˈkərv \

Definition of curve

 (Entry 1 of 3)

archaic
: bent or formed into a curve

curve

verb
curved; curving

Definition of curve (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to have or take a turn, change, or deviation from a straight line or plane surface without sharp breaks or angularity

transitive verb

1 : to cause to curve
2 : to throw a curveball to (a batter)
3 : to grade (something, such as an examination) on a curve

curve

noun

Definition of curve (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : a line especially when curved: such as
(1) : the path of a moving point
(2) : a line defined by an equation so that the coordinates of its points are functions of a single independent variable or parameter
b : the graph of a variable
2 : something curved: such as
a : a curving line of the human body
b curves plural : parenthesis
4 : a distribution indicating the relative performance of individuals measured against each other that is used especially in assigning good, medium, or poor grades to usually predetermined proportions of students rather than in assigning grades based on predetermined standards of achievement
5 : trend a growth curve in advertising revenues especially : a prevalent trend or rate of progress often used in the phrases ahead of the curve and behind the curve companies that are behind the curve in adopting new technologies

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Other Words from curve

Noun

curvy \ ˈkər-​vē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for curve

Synonyms: Verb

arc, arch, bend, bow, crook, fall off, hook, round, sweep, swerve, trend, wheel

Synonyms: Noun

angle, arc, arch, bend, bow, crook, curvature, inflection, turn, wind

Antonyms: Verb

straighten

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Examples of curve in a Sentence

Verb

The tail curves over the dog's back. The road curves to the left. The fence curves in toward the side of the house. The railing curves out near the observation platform.

Noun

The dog's tail has a slight curve. There is a sharp curve coming up in the road. the price curve in relation to inflation
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Another room, previously used as an office, has a curving wall of tall casement windows and a glass door leading outside. Carol Riordan, courant.com, "Property of the Week: 59 Papermill Road, Glastonbury," 28 Dec. 2017 To shape Scotch broom or similar foliage, wrap it with fine wire and bend it to form and curve you desire. Maggie O'neill, Good Housekeeping, "25 Practical Tips for Flower Arrangements From 1952," 7 May 2015 The planet suddenly acts as a lens for the star's light, curving it as it would be seen from Earth. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Two More Mysterious Rogue Planets Found," 9 Nov. 2018 Even without her visor, the hood of her fitted black hoodie comes up over her head, and her chest is curved inward, her guardedness a contrast to her open smile and bearing on TV talk shows and red carpets. Meredith Talusan, SELF, "Trans Is Beautiful: Laverne Cox on the Work of Self-Love," 17 Oct. 2018 Michael’s current forecast track suggests the storm could curve eastward and dump rain on the Carolinas, which are still recovering from the intense flooding brought by Hurricane Florence last month. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Storm Near Gulf of Mexico Aims for Florida’s Panhandle," 7 Oct. 2018 Seen from above, the Appalachian Mountains jut from the earth like a spine curving through the eastern U.S., reaching north into Canada and south into Mississippi. Jessica Wapner, Newsweek, "The Cancer Epidemic in Central Appalachia," 19 July 2015 Cat Eye: Draw a thin line from the center of your upper lashline to the outer corner, curving it upward at the end toward your temple. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "5 Tricky Beauty Techniques Made Easy," 12 Mar. 2012 The traditional method calls for laying the knife's long axis at 90 degrees to the long axis of the sharpening stone and then moving down the stone's length with a gently curving arc. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things to Do Around the House Before the Holidays," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Each home is raised on short stilts, and its thatched roof has a gentle curve. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Why India’s Andaman Islands Could Be the New Maldives," 4 Jan. 2019 And a simple, curve-hugging metallic number allowed the artist's eyes to shine. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "We Can't Get Over How Stunning Reba McEntire Looked in This Sparkly Red Mini Dress," 11 Dec. 2018 The yield curve also narrowed earlier this year, and the stock market mostly ignored it then. Matt Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Stocks slide as bond market sounds a recession warning," 4 Dec. 2018 Now, highways have straightaways, and not even the most sinuous snaking road has constant curves. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Can Driving the Inside Lane on the Highway Shorten Your Trip?," 16 Nov. 2018 Keeping things compact without sacrificing style, this pretty option has elegant curves and a tasteful two-toned look. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "All kinds of small dining tables for under $500," 1 Oct. 2018 Worn untucked, the top gives the length needed for a bit of extra coverage (key to making curve-hugging leggings office appropriate). Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "How to Wear Leggings to Work This Fall," 28 Aug. 2018 The new mom opted for a pixie-cut and a curve-hugging purple gown that fit her in all the right places at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City on Monday. Fox News, "Cardi B makes first public appearance since giving birth to daughter," 20 Aug. 2018 Most noticeably, Walmart's Margo chair has a curve along the back that Anthropologie's Tulip chair does not — and the channel tufting on the Margo chair is closer together with narrower panels. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This $500 Walmart Chair Is Almost A Perfect Dupe For This $1600 Anthropologie Chair," 8 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curve.' 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 curve

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1594, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for curve

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin curvus; akin to Greek kyrtos convex, Middle Irish cruinn round

Verb

Latin curvare, from curvus

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Time Traveler for curve

The first known use of curve was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for curve

curve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of curve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to form a curve : to turn or change from a straight line, shape, or path to a smooth, rounded one

: to cause (something) to form a curve

curve

noun

English Language Learners Definition of curve (Entry 2 of 2)

: a smooth, rounded line, shape, path, etc.

: a curved line on a graph that shows how something changes or is affected by one or more conditions

: a curving line or shape of the human body and especially of a woman's body

curve

verb
\ ˈkərv \
curved; curving

Kids Definition of curve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to turn or cause to turn from a straight line or course The road curved to the left.

curve

noun

Kids Definition of curve (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a smooth rounded line or surface Slow down! There's a curve in the road.
2 : something having a somewhat round shape the curves of the body
3 : a ball thrown so that it moves away from a straight course

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More from Merriam-Webster on curve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for curve

Spanish Central: Translation of curve

Nglish: Translation of curve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curve for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about curve

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