\ 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 Police wrote in an arrest-warrant affidavit that Ronzon was speeding west on Jefferson in a blue Honda Civic and ran a red light at South Polk Street, just before the road begins to curve to the right. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 27 July 2021 The Chick ’n’ Egg Chair by Manuel Kretzer uses its honeycombs to curve to the behind rather than the cranium, but could also be scaled up or down or, one imagines, horizontally, to provide a contoured surface large enough to lie down on. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, 23 July 2021 The reason gravity pulls you toward the ground is that all objects with mass, like our Earth, actually bend and curve the fabric of the universe, called spacetime. Mario Borunda, The Conversation, 26 July 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, 30 June 2021 Bodies slip over, crawl under, slide against, and curve onto other bodies with a connection so palpable that one senses it, even the few times the dancers are physically distanced., 24 July 2021 There’s been immense pressure to curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the Games — which was already delayed a year — to protect athletes and nearby regions. oregonlive, 8 July 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, 30 June 2021 The style features a rounded open back with sloping arms that curve around a plush seat cushion. Amanda Randone,, 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That said, Manteca was ahead of the curve swapping drinking fountains for water refill stations and putting air purifiers in classrooms last school year. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Sep. 2021 As stakeholders work to bend this stubborn cost curve, AI can help improve efficiencies in everything from clinical trials to chronic care management. Praduman Jain, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 The narrative curve is familiar too, from personal to sociocultural and then back to personal again. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 9 Sep. 2021 Clayton Kershaw throw his signature 12-6 curve with such success., 8 Sep. 2021 Notice that some nodes sit outside the curve itself, with the exception of the first and last points. Sarah Wells, Popular Mechanics, 8 Sep. 2021 Ken trusts that he’ll be rewarded for defending every curve in the letter of the law. Amy Nicholson, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021 Maybe even more so given the history of bigs a how much longer the developmental curve can be. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 7 Sep. 2021 Learning curve is undefeated, but Aggies should feel good about QB1. Dallas News, 5 Sep. 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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Dictionary Entries Near curve

curvature of field



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Cite this Entry

“Curve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for curve



English Language Learners Definition of curve (Entry 2 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 3 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


\ 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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