- a continuously bending line, without angles.
- the act or extent of curving.
- any curved outline, form, thing, or part.
- a curved section of a road, path, hallway, etc.
- Railroads. a curved section of track: in the U.S. the curve is often expressed as the central angle, measured in degrees, of a curved section of track subtended by a chord 100 feet (30 meters) long (degree of curve).
- Also called curve ball, curveball. Baseball.
- a pitch delivered with a spin that causes the ball to veer from a normal straight path, away from the side from which it was thrown.
- the course of such a pitched ball.
- a graphic representation of the variations effected in something by the influence of changing conditions; graph.
- Mathematics. a collection of points whose coordinates are continuous functions of a single independent variable.
- a misleading or deceptive trick; cheat; deception.
- Education. a grading system based on the scale of performance of a group, so that those performing better, regardless of their actual knowledge of the subject, receive high grades: The new English professor marks on a curve.Compare absolute(def 10).
- a curved guide used in drafting.
- to bend in a curve; cause to take the course of a curve.
- to grade on a curve.
- Baseball. to pitch a curve to.
- to bend in a curve; take the course of a curve.
- having the shape of a curve; curved.
- ahead of/behindthe curve, at the forefront of (or lagging behind) recent developments, trends, etc.
- throw (someone) a curve,
- to take (someone) by surprise, especially in a negative way.
- to mislead or deceive.
Origin of curve
- baseball a ball pitched in a curving path so as to make it more difficult to hit
- informal something deceptivehis wholesome image was a curve ball thrown to deceive the public
- a continuously bending line that has no straight parts
- something that curves or is curved, such as a bend in a road or the contour of a woman's body
- the act or extent of curving; curvature
- a system of points whose coordinates satisfy a given equation; a locus of points
- the graph of a function with one independent variable
- a line representing data, esp statistical data, on a graphan unemployment curve
- ahead of the curve ahead of the times; ahead of schedule
- behind the curve behind the times; behind schedule
- short for French curve
- to take or cause to take the shape or path of a curve; bend
Word Origin and History for curve ball
1690s, "curved line," from curve (v.). With reference to the female figure (usually plural, curves), from 1862; as a type of baseball pitch, from 1879.
early 15c. (implied in curved), from Latin curvus "crooked, curved, bent," and curvare "to bend," both from PIE root *(s)ker- "to turn, bend" (see ring (n.)).
- A line or surface that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.
- Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
- A curved line representing variations in data on a graph.
- To move in or take the shape of a curve.
- A line or surface that bends in a smooth, continuous way without sharp angles.
- The graph of a function on a coordinate plane. In this technical sense, straight lines, circles, and waves are all curves.
Idioms and Phrases with curve ball
see throw a curve.