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[adjective, verb kon-keyv, kon-keyv; noun kon-keyv] /adjective, verb kɒnˈkeɪv, ˈkɒn keɪv; noun ˈkɒn keɪv/
curved like a segment of the interior of a circle or hollow sphere; hollow and curved.
Compare convex (def 1).
Geometry. (of a polygon) having at least one interior angle greater than 180°.
Obsolete. hollow.
a concave surface, part, line, or thing.
Machinery. a concave piece, as one against which a drum rotates.
verb (used with object), concaved, concaving.
to make concave.
Origin of concave
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin concavus, hollow. See con-, cave
Related forms
concavely, adverb
concaveness, noun
subconcave, adjective
subconcavely, adverb
subconcaveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for concave
Historical Examples
  • In a concave mirror the top and bottom are inverted, but this is no transposition.

    Timaeus Plato
  • I am bending them in concave cathode of force over the city.

  • I ran up the twisted, concave surface of a giant stem of some kind.

    The Terror from the Depths Sewell Peaslee Wright
  • A dentist's mirror is concave; he sees your teeth enlarged in it.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • It was a concave lens, like some powerful optical instrument.

    The Whispering Spheres Russell Robert Winterbotham
  • You will perceive, Watson, that the glasses are concave and of unusual strength.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The sky was like a bowl of brass, and in the concave buzzards were sailing.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • Thus, far from being salient, its horizontal section is concave.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • The surgeon and the wounded were well sheltered in a concave hollow of the bank.

    Marion's Faith. Charles King
  • The gouge is a form of chisel, the blade of which is concave, and hence the edge curved.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
British Dictionary definitions for concave


/ˈkɒnkeɪv; kɒnˈkeɪv/
curving inwards
(physics) having one or two surfaces curved or ground in the shape of a section of the interior of a sphere, paraboloid, etc: a concave lens
(maths) (of a polygon) containing an interior angle greater than 180°
an obsolete word for hollow
(transitive) to make concave
Compare convex
Derived Forms
concavely, adverb
concaveness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin concavus arched, from cavus hollow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for concave

early 15c., from Old French concave (14c.) or directly from Latin concavus "hollow, arched, vaulted, curved," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + cavus "hollow" (see cave (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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concave in Medicine

concave con·cave (kŏn-kāv', kŏn'kāv')
Curved like the inner surface of a sphere. n.
A concave surface, structure, or line.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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concave in Science
Curved inward, like the inside of a circle or sphere.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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