\ ˈkərv How to pronounce curve (audio) \

Definition of curve

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: bent or formed into a curve


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



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 — see also epidemic curve, learning curve, normal curve, simple closed curve, sine curve
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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Synonyms & Antonyms for curve

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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 The style features a rounded open back with sloping arms that curve around a plush seat cushion. Amanda Randone,, 28 Apr. 2021 Twin staircases curve out each side from a curving landing. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 10 Apr. 2021 The new attraction’s design features two tubes that sometimes run parallel to one another and sometimes curve around to run in opposite directions. Dewayne Bevil,, 24 Mar. 2021 Most ridge poles curve down, but by flipping the design, Sea to Summit adds several inches to the peak height. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, 23 Mar. 2021 The Hartselle native threw 104 pitches, 62 for strikes, getting his fastball, changeup and curve over for strikes. Creg Stephenson |, al, 13 Mar. 2021 The modern architecture of the home proved to be its own unique challenge, because the walls curve instead of lie flat. Nikhita Mahtani, House Beautiful, 5 Mar. 2021 Bennett had been driving northbound on Louisiana 41 north of Louisiana 36 when the road began to curve to the left. Sara Pagones | Staff Writer,, 3 Feb. 2021 His critics claimed that rattlesnakes neither climb trees nor have fangs that curve out, but later observation would prove them wrong on both counts. Marissa Fessenden, Scientific American, 17 May 2013 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For those companies out in front of the curve on shorter hours, the pandemic actually upended the experiment. oregonlive, 16 June 2021 In 1918, there was a first wave and then a flattening of the curve. Radhika Chalasani, ABC News, 15 June 2021 This pushes a large portion of the curve into extreme territory. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, 14 June 2021 On biomechanics, sports science, data, video and peak performance, Jung has always been ahead of the curve. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 12 June 2021 Although the technologies may vary based on a company's needs, the key is to stay ahead of the curve by tapping into the latest innovations in supply chain technology. Kevin Beasley, Forbes, 11 June 2021 The show did so well at staying ahead of the curve. Ruth Kinane,, 10 June 2021 Mike Murphy, a former investment banker who owns Carson Street Deli on the South Side, was ahead of the curve on outdoor pizza. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 1 June 2021 De Miranda came of age around the middle of that curve. Eric Boodman, Wired, 29 May 2021

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1594, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for curve


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


Latin curvare, from curvus

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Time Traveler for curve

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for curve

Cite this Entry

“Curve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for curve



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



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

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


\ ˈkərv How to pronounce curve (audio) \
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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on curve

Nglish: Translation of curve for Spanish Speakers

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


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