curve

1 of 3

adjective

archaic
: bent or formed into a curve

curve

2 of 3

verb

curved; curving

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

3 of 3

noun

1
a
: 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
2
: something curved: such as
a
: a curving line of the human body
b
curves plural : parenthesis
3
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The light of a star in the great distance, for instance, would seem to curve around a large object in front of it, nearer to us—like our Sun. Rebecca Boyle, TIME, 8 Apr. 2024 The ball soared across the lawn, cleared the pool and seemed to curve mid-air before landing right in front of Ferrara, who caught it in his hands. Abby Aguirre, Vogue, 4 Apr. 2024 When a total solar eclipse starts to curve across New York state at about 3:17 p.m. on April 8, Jessica DeCerce will be somewhere near Buffalo. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2024 New renderings show a circular façade bursting with blossoming florals and trees, alongside curving balconies. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 25 Mar. 2024 Jutting trees shaded the narrow, shallow river, which gracefully curved its way into a thicket of emerald green. Mya Guarnieri, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Mar. 2024 With its soft gray lines and sleek, curving exterior, Project Hive looks less like a school and more like a wellness retreat or modern art museum. Rebecca Cairns, CNN, 25 Mar. 2024 Dragon’s Back trail curves through the southeast side of the city, winding through the contours of the mountain’s ridges above the coastline. Condé Nast, Bon Appétit, 20 Mar. 2024 The amenities continue out to the landscaped grounds, where Zen-like courtyards are bolstered by bonsai and maple trees, a seating area is warmed by a fire-pit, and a curving infinity-edge swimming pool with a Baja shelf and spa is flanked by a sundeck—all overlooking those picturesque vistas. Wendy Bowman, Robb Report, 19 Mar. 2024
Noun
The cut of this style fits curves effortlessly and adds an element of effortlessness. Essence, 9 Apr. 2024 Combining a team of talented designers with extensive consumer research, Karat Home is staying ahead of the curve in design trends and preferences. Kansas City Star, 8 Apr. 2024 In an age where every click and search is a clue to what customers want, Hudson Fusion has managed to stay ahead of the curve. Tyler Shepherd, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024 The jeans are made from a soft and durable cotton blend that’s designed to contour curves. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 5 Apr. 2024 France wanted to get ahead of the curve in the hope of shaping the outcome. Célia Belin, Foreign Affairs, 5 Apr. 2024 Its innovative design features a leaf-like backrest that mimics the spine's natural curve, promoting healthy posture and comfort. Bethany Braun-Silva, ABC News, 3 Apr. 2024 The Omega Marine was ahead of the curve, having been available for industrial use since 1932 and commercially since 1939, but soon Blancpain came out with the Fifty Fathoms in 1953, with Rolex launching its Submariner in 1954. The Editors, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2024 Photo : Infiniti The QX80’s looks have been revised to be smoother, sleeker, and more contemporary than the complex curves presented before. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 2 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'curve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

Verb

Latin curvare, from curvus

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1594, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near curve

Cite this Entry

“Curve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curve. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

curve

1 of 2 verb
curved; curving
1
: to turn or change from a straight line or course
the road curved to the left
2
: to cause to curve

curve

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: a line especially when curved
b
: a line connecting points on a graph or in a coordinate system
2
: something that bends or turns without angles
a curve in the road
3
: a ball thrown so that it moves away from a straight course

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