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curve

[kurv]
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noun
  1. a continuously bending line, without angles.
  2. the act or extent of curving.
  3. any curved outline, form, thing, or part.
  4. a curved section of a road, path, hallway, etc.
  5. 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).
  6. Also called curve ball, curveball. Baseball.
    1. 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.
    2. the course of such a pitched ball.
  7. a graphic representation of the variations effected in something by the influence of changing conditions; graph.
  8. Mathematics. a collection of points whose coordinates are continuous functions of a single independent variable.
  9. a misleading or deceptive trick; cheat; deception.
  10. 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).
  11. a curved guide used in drafting.
verb (used with object), curved, curv·ing.
  1. to bend in a curve; cause to take the course of a curve.
  2. to grade on a curve.
  3. Baseball. to pitch a curve to.
verb (used without object), curved, curv·ing.
  1. to bend in a curve; take the course of a curve.
adjective
  1. having the shape of a curve; curved.
Idioms
  1. ahead of/behindthe curve, at the forefront of (or lagging behind) recent developments, trends, etc.
  2. throw (someone) a curve,
    1. to take (someone) by surprise, especially in a negative way.
    2. to mislead or deceive.

Origin of curve

1565–75; (< Middle French) < Latin curvus crooked, bent, curved
Related formscurv·ed·ly [kur-vid-lee] /ˈkɜr vɪd li/, adverbcurv·ed·ness, nouncurve·less, adjectiveun·curved, adjectiveun·curv·ing, adjectiveun·der·curve, nounun·der·curve, verb (used without object), un·der·curved, un·der·curv·ing.well-curved, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples


British Dictionary definitions for curve-ball

curve

noun
  1. a continuously bending line that has no straight parts
  2. something that curves or is curved, such as a bend in a road or the contour of a woman's body
  3. the act or extent of curving; curvature
  4. maths
    1. a system of points whose coordinates satisfy a given equation; a locus of points
    2. the graph of a function with one independent variable
  5. a line representing data, esp statistical data, on a graphan unemployment curve
  6. ahead of the curve ahead of the times; ahead of schedule
  7. behind the curve behind the times; behind schedule
  8. short for French curve
verb
  1. to take or cause to take the shape or path of a curve; bend
Related formsRelated adjective: sinuous
Derived Formscurvedly (ˈkɜːvɪdlɪ), adverbcurvedness, nouncurvy, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Latin curvāre to bend, from curvus crooked
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

Word Origin and History for curve-ball

curve

n.

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.

curve

v.

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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

curve-ball in Medicine

curve

([object Object])
n.
  1. A line or surface that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.
  2. Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
  3. A curved line representing variations in data on a graph.
v.
  1. To move in or take the shape of a curve.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

curve-ball in Science

curve

[kûrv]
  1. A line or surface that bends in a smooth, continuous way without sharp angles.
  2. The graph of a function on a coordinate plane. In this technical sense, straight lines, circles, and waves are all curves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with curve-ball

curve-ball

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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