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 sculpture (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

intransitive verb

: to work as a sculptor

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Also, on the patio, the sculpture of Marilyn Rudoff will be on display. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2022 Turns out, the sculpture is from late first century B.C. to early first century A.D. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 5 May 2022 The sculpture was one of numerous archeological finds researchers inventoried and published in a catalog of works from the excavations in 1938. Malcolm Gay,, 30 Apr. 2022 The sculpture that resides there today is a replica of the original that was sold when the bar closed in the 1990s. Kenneth R. Gosselin, Hartford Courant, 26 Apr. 2022 The sculpture will be in trailhead plaza with bicycle racks, benches, a water fountain and parking for trail users. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Apr. 2022 My rational mind knows the sculpture is tacky and borderline offensive, yet my reptilian brain loves its louche effervescence. New York Times, 1 Mar. 2022 Light permeating the clear plastic wall made the surface perceptually porous, creating a tactile optical effect in the space around the sculpture almost like a frozen waterfall. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 Designed to commemorate the French marque’s one-off La Voiture Noire hypercar, unveiled in 2019, the sculpture is handmade in 24-karat rose gold and mounted on a bespoke base. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 22 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb A life-size cow sculptured from butter has been a tradition at the Ohio State Fair since the early 1900s. Polly Campbell,, 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 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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sculpture



sculptured glass

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Statistics for sculpture

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sculpture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on sculpture

Nglish: Translation of sculpture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sculpture for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sculpture


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