sculp·​ture | \ ˈskəlp-chər How to pronounce sculpture (audio) \

Definition of sculpture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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


sculptured; sculpturing\ ˈskəlp-​chə-​riŋ How to pronounce sculpturing (audio) , ˈskəlp-​shriŋ \

Definition of sculpture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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

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Synonyms for sculpture

Synonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Kryptos message contains a partial guide to the code's solution inside the panels of the sculpture. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Nobody Has Solved This Cryptographic Puzzle for 30 Years. Think You Can?," 3 Feb. 2020 The international project is spearheaded by Korean curator Daehyung Lee and will feature artists like British sculptor Anthony Gormley, a Turner Prize winner best known for Britain's Angel of the North steel sculpture. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "K-Pop Supergroup BTS' Newest World Tour Is All About Art," 22 Jan. 2020 Anadol has also used his data sculptures to look inward, inside the human brain. Tom Simonite, Wired, "Artist Refik Anadol Turns Data Into Art, With Help From AI," 16 Jan. 2020 Her sculptures were only temporary pieces of forensic art. Richard Sandomir,, "Betty Pat Gatliff; her forensic sculptures solved crimes," 15 Jan. 2020 Check out her astonishingly lifelike paper sculptures of bird, bugs, and other creatures. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Facebook Drops the Mic on Political Advertising," 9 Jan. 2020 Each of his sculptures involves a lengthy process of thinking and tinkering, over the course of which its materials might change, and its scale might shift. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Speed Walking with the Sculptor Charles Ray," 25 Nov. 2019 Mercer's father will be there when her sculpture is unveiled during the town's official celebrations. Gabrielle Paluch, USA TODAY, "Memorializing the deadly Camp Fire 1 year later: 'Yes we're alive, but we're not the same'," 3 Nov. 2019 Tough Grenier took his sculpture seriously, the piece certainly has a punchline, employing a process spelled out in detail on the website of the installation’s sponsor, Denver’s Black Cube Nomadic Museum. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Here’s the story behind the 30-foot-tall chicken currently living at Denver Public Library," 4 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What is the significance of sharing art and specifically sculpture outside? Trevor Fraser,, "Local artist donates sculpture for auction to aid Wells'Built Museum," 3 Apr. 2018 A life-size cow sculptured from butter has been a tradition at the Ohio State Fair since the early 1900s. Polly Campbell,, "Ohio's 2017 butter sculpture: In living color," 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, "T Magazine Newsletter," 10 Nov. 2016

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


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


1645, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for sculpture


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

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Time Traveler for sculpture

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sculpture

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sculpture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sculpture


How to pronounce sculpture (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sculpture

: a piece of art that is made by carving or molding clay, stone, metal, etc.
: the process or art of carving or molding clay, stone, metal, etc., into a sculpture


sculp·​ture | \ ˈskəlp-chər How to pronounce sculpture (audio) \

Kids Definition of sculpture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the action or art of making statues by carving or chiseling (as in wood or stone), by modeling (as in clay), or by casting (as in melted metal)
2 : a work of art produced by sculpture


sculptured; sculpturing

Kids Definition of sculpture (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (a work of art) by shaping (as stone, wood, or metal)

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