re·​curve | \ ˈrē-ˌkərv How to pronounce recurve (audio) \
plural recurves

Definition of recurve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an archery bow with tips that curve away from the string side when the bow is not strung Primitive bows are simply a stick and string; a recurve adds a curve on each limb of the bow.— Will Elliott often used before another noun a recurve bow
2 : a curve in a backward or reverse direction A number of computer models indicate that the storm may cross the Florida peninsula and enter the Gulf of Mexico … . A recurve to the north into Georgia is a possibility …— Pam Knox


recurved; recurving; recurves

Definition of recurve (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to curve or turn in a backward or reverse direction especially, of a weather disturbance : to reverse the direction of travel by curving back … it's common for a hurricane like Irma to near the East Coast but then recurve away, after hitting a force field in the form of westerly winds at the upper levels of the atmosphere. — Andrew Freedman

Examples of recurve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Then there are recurve bows with curved tips that create more energy than the longbow. Patrick Cooke, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Nov. 2021 Bennett has since transitioned to the recurve bow, a more traditional style with no pulley system, for the 2012 London, 2016 Rio, and 2020 Tokyo Games. Kamryn Walker, The Arizona Republic, 25 Aug. 2021 Ellison, ranked No. 1 in the world in recurve, dominated the four-stage trials that began in 2019 before the pandemic with 169 total points. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, 1 June 2021 In 2019, Komalika Bari, who was just 17 at the time, became only the second Indian female archer, after Deepika Kumari in 2009, to win gold in the recurve cadet event at the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid. John Kang, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 In Ohio, one of the few states to differentiate crossbow vs. vertical-bow harvest data, crossbow hunters have begun to replace bowhunters in the same way that compound hunters once replaced recurve hunters. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, 17 Mar. 2021 To him, any animal taken with a recurve was an accomplishment. Beka Garris, Outdoor Life, 16 Dec. 2020 Ellison, 32, is ranked No. 1 in the world in recurve and coming off one of his best seasons before the coronavirus pandemic. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, 18 Nov. 2020 Even with the high ground, and rams in sight, the odds are still low for someone carrying a recurve. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, 9 Sep. 2020

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


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1610, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of recurve was in 1610

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recurve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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