sculpture

1 of 2

noun

sculp·​ture ˈskəlp-chər How to pronounce sculpture (audio)
1
a
: the action or art of processing (as by carving, modeling, or welding) plastic or hard materials into works of art
b(1)
: work produced by sculpture
(2)
: a three-dimensional work of art (such as a statue)
2
: impressed or raised markings or a pattern of such especially on a plant or animal part

sculpture

2 of 2

verb

sculptured; sculpturing ˈskəlp-chə-riŋ How to pronounce sculpture (audio)
ˈskəlp-shriŋ

transitive verb

1
a
: to form an image or representation of from solid material (such as wood or stone)
b
: to form into a three-dimensional work of art
2
: to change (the form of the earth's surface) by natural processes (such as erosion and deposition)
3
: to shape by or as if by carving or molding

intransitive verb

: to work as a sculptor

Examples of sculpture in a Sentence

Noun a sculpture of an elephant an exhibit of African sculpture Verb the artist used a hammer and chisel to sculpture the horse out of ice
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Cézanne is important to our painting, (as is) Sub-Saharan African sculpture. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The bottom two floors — where some of the enclave’s most renowned artists showcased their sculptures, paintings and mixed media art installations — remain intact and for many weeks housed families who had fled their homes and sought shelter there. Raja Abdulrahim, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Moon Phases includes 125 miniature moon sculptures. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Feb. 2024 People are discovering that the Venezuelan American artist (born María Sol Escobar) made powerful work (mostly wooden sculptures, but also drawings and installations) before and well after the decade with which she is mostly associated. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Requests — some granted, others so far ignored — have been made regarding LACMA’s miscellany: to send bronzes back to Benin (as France’s Quai Branly museum has done), deity sculptures back to India, a stone monument back to Mexico, a heraldic screen back to Indigenous Alaskans in Hawaii. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 Some are more fanciful, such as an array of steel moon sculptures by the artist Jeff Koons. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Feb. 2024 Advertisement The legislation also carefully defines which kinds of vendor activities have free-speech protections, such as political efforts, selling art a person made themselves, fortune telling, face painting and making balloon sculptures. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 The 4,000-pound bronze sculpture features Bryant wearing his No. 8 jersey and pointing his finger skyward – capturing the moment the star walked off the court following his career-high, 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Homero De La Fuente, CNN, 9 Feb. 2024
Verb
Co-developed with NISMO, Nissan’s in-house racing and customizing arm, the Hyper-Force’s carbon-fiber body is sculptured like a fighter jet with the sole purpose of going as fast as possible. Peter Lyon, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Modeling in clay was a way to process the paintings and sculpture the young man was discovering in the art metropolis of the Western world. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 23 June 2023 A life-size cow sculptured from butter has been a tradition at the Ohio State Fair since the early 1900s. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, 25 July 2017 Two round medallions that stud this one-of-a-kind Makassar ebony pendant are sculptured from gold. Nancy Hass, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2016 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sculpture.' 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

Noun

Middle English, from Latin sculptura, from sculptus, past participle of sculpere to carve, alteration of scalpere to scratch, carve

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1645, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sculpture was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near sculpture

Cite this Entry

“Sculpture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sculpture. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

sculpture

1 of 2 noun
sculp·​ture ˈskəlp-chər How to pronounce sculpture (audio)
1
: the act, process, or art of carving or cutting hard substances, modeling plastic substances, or casting melted metals into works of art
2
a
: work produced by sculpture
b
: a piece of such work
sculptural
-chə-rəl
-shrəl
adjective

sculpture

2 of 2 verb
sculptured; sculpturing ˈskəlp-chə-riŋ How to pronounce sculpture (audio)
ˈskəlp-shriŋ
1
: to make sculptures
2
: to shape by or as if by carving or molding

More from Merriam-Webster on sculpture

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