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

intransitive verb

: to work as a sculptor

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Synonyms for sculpture

Synonyms: Verb

carve, sculpt

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Examples of sculpture in a Sentence


a sculpture of an elephant an exhibit of African sculpture


the artist used a hammer and chisel to sculpture the horse out of ice
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But that changed in a major way this week, when the United States Tennis Association (USTA) unveiled a large sculpture of Gibson outside the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Althea Gibson, Who Smashed Through Racial Barriers in Tennis, Honored With Statue at U.S. Open," 28 Aug. 2019 According to the school’s website, Baldy’s appearance at the school comes with some mystery, first showing up as a cast metal sculpture near the old gym in the 1940s before students adopted it as their mascot. Yvette Orozco Staff Writer, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena ISD mascots have sparked legends, fierce pride," 23 Aug. 2019 Major installations are cropping up citywide, including pieces for the Sacramento Convention Center (now under renovation) and outdoor art — including a colorful Jeff Koons sculpture — at the new Downtown Commons complex. Harriot Manley,, "9 must-see murals in downtown Sacramento," 22 Aug. 2019 Learn how to make a hummingbird sculpture at Sherman Library & Gardens A class on creating mosaic hummingbirds will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 28 at Sherman Library & Gardens, 2647 East Coast Hwy. in Corona del Mar. Daily Pilot, "Around Town: Celebrity benefit returning to Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach," 21 Aug. 2019 At the City of David, harp music plays through loudspeakers in the courtyard, and a large sculpture of a harp fills an archway at the entrance. Rachel Poser, Harper's magazine, "Common Ground," 19 Aug. 2019 That was when the idea to make a sculpture of Charles came together. Erin Glynn,, "13-foot Ezzard Charles sculpture to be built on street of his namesake," 17 Aug. 2019 There are portraits of Coco, chairs upholstered in her signature tweed and a 60-foot sculpture of a pearl necklace. Sophie Alexander, Fortune, "Chanel’s Owners: As Discreet As the Fabled Couturier’s Little Black Dress," 14 Aug. 2019 In Delevingne’s powder room, the wallpaper is the same jungly banana-leaf print as the fabric on the chairs outside, but the toilet is something else: hand-painted, seat and all, in Mexican Talavera-style florals, like a little functional sculpture. Julia Felsenthal, Marie Claire, "Cara Delevingne Bares All," 13 Aug. 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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Statistics for sculpture

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for sculpture

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

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More Definitions for sculpture



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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Comments on sculpture

What made you want to look up sculpture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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