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

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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 interactive piece, Reflect, is a live input video sculpture in the form of a reflection pool at the Nasher Sculpture Center — the first new media exhibition in the museum’s history. Christopher Mosley, Dallas News, "Melanie Clemmons’ exhibition at the Nasher examines how the internet is changing us," 13 Apr. 2021 Globe correspondent Natachi Onwuamaegbu spotlights 10 activities that get the whole crew outdoors, perhaps on a farm or in a sculpture park., "HomeFront: Fun now for stir-crazy families, music later for picnicking at Tanglewood," 9 Apr. 2021 Still, the pièce de résistance may be the sculpture that Gaga and Formichetti created just for the project. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Lady Gaga on Collaboration, Creativity, and Her Mission to Give Back," 7 Apr. 2021 Her masterpiece, the Tarot Garden (1979-2002), is a vast sculpture park in Tuscany filled with twenty-two free-form, monumental women, animals, and figures of fantasy, some the size of houses and made habitable with kitchens and plumbing. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Pioneering Feminism of Niki de Saint Phalle," 29 Mar. 2021 The epicenter will shift from downtown St Paul to the State Fairgrounds, where there will be a drive-through ice and snow sculpture park. Shannon Prather, Star Tribune, "St. Paul Winter Carnival revamps events to foil COVID-19," 28 Dec. 2020 Carved around 1525, the work was created at a pivotal moment in the birth of Mannerist sculpture, the museum said. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Spring 2021 acquisitions at Cleveland Museum of Art aim for geographic, cultural and racial diversity," 28 Mar. 2021 The Beosound Level is a piece of domestic sculpture doubling as a sound system. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Review: Here’s Why B&O’s Beosound Level Wireless Speaker Is Flat-Out Phenomenal," 25 Mar. 2021 For almost four decades, the iconic Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture in Irving has drawn visitors from around the world. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Irving hopes redo will give more horsepower to iconic mustang sculpture plaza," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sidelight is flattering to sculpture and ceramic; the darker interior galleries would suit sensitive works on paper. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "The Iconoclast Remaking Los Angeles’s Most Important Museum," 5 Oct. 2020 Mycelium acts like a glue and is grown into molds (no pun intended) fitting any shape, from packaging insert to sculpture to beauty applicator. Maria Geyman, Vogue, "How Mushrooms Could Help Solve the Beauty Industry’s Waste Problem," 14 Aug. 2020 The second owners also have wall art and sculpture throughout. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$2.45M West Bloomfield home is V-shaped, has lake views from every room," 4 July 2020 Her glam also features a black lip, sculptured x-shaped braided hair style and a gold crown to top it off. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Barbie Collaborates With Basquiat For World Art Day," 15 Apr. 2020 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

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sculpture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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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