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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.
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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.
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verb (used without object), curved, curv·ing.
  1. to bend in a curve; take the course of a curve.
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adjective
  1. having the shape of a curve; curved.
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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.
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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

Examples from the Web for curved

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The rudder may also be curved or warped in similar manner by lever action.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • The ankle was small and curved like an axe handle and looked as tough.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • The arms were long and had the curved movement of the tentacles of a devil-fish.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • They sailed upward for hundreds of feet, then curved and fell like skyrockets.

  • He dodged this way and that, and curved and turned, but to no purpose.

    White Fang

    Jack London


British Dictionary definitions for curved

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
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verb
  1. to take or cause to take the shape or path of a curve; bend
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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 curved

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.

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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.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

curved in Medicine

curve

(kûrv)
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.
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v.
  1. To move in or take the shape of a curve.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

curved 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with curved

curve

see throw a curve.

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