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 Challenging the ideas of function and form, art and utility, Stout’s latest collection includes both abstract sculptures and functional furniture, and is often a combination of the two. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Katie Stout Fuses Furniture, Art, and Absurdity With ‘Sour Tasting Liquid’ at Nina Johnson in Miami," 20 Feb. 2020 Meanwhile, on the New York City-style backlot, Frieze Projects will present 16 installations, sculptures and performances. Falen Hardge, The Hollywood Reporter, "Frieze Los Angeles 2020: Guide to Exhibitions, Events and Parties (Updating)," 12 Feb. 2020 Over his 78 years as a professional artist, Picasso created 147,800 pieces including 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engravings, 300 sculptures and ceramics and 34,000 illustrations. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "Be persistent like Picasso and you'll master your craft, too," 8 Feb. 2020 The victory at Marathon was not only documented in Herodotus’s Histories, but also in a wider outpouring of art, sculpture, and architecture. National Geographic, "At the Battle of Marathon, Athens' underdog victory stunned Persia," 6 Feb. 2020 In the bedroom, a bookshelf by Jacques Adnet displays African sculpture and contemporary glass. Sarah Medford, WSJ, "A Perfectly Layered Apartment on Paris’s Right Bank," 4 Feb. 2020 Over the years the natural world would become a reoccurring theme in the now 90-year-old contemporary artist’s sculptures and paintings. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Must-See Outdoor Art Installations of 2020," 3 Feb. 2020 Lipa and a massive crew of backup dancers make their way through an elaborate, warehouse-sized set filled with cars, larger-than-life diamond sculptures, and spinning floor plates rendered in different colors. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Dua Lipa Does a Deceptively Simple Look 8 Ways in Her New “Physical” Video," 31 Jan. 2020 At the Gropius Bau museum and exhibition space, 17 performance artists will perform different Rituals of Care throughout the above dates, from dances and silent plays to sound sculptures and DJ sets. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "K-Pop Supergroup BTS' Newest World Tour Is All About Art," 22 Jan. 2020 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

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sculpture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 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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