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[oh-jahyv, oh-jahyv] /ˈoʊ dʒaɪv, oʊˈdʒaɪv/
  1. a diagonal vaulting rib.
  2. a pointed arch.
Statistics. the distribution curve of a frequency distribution.
Rocketry. the curved nose of a missile or rocket.
Origin of ogive
1605-15; < French, Middle French ogive, augive < Spanish aljibe < Spanish Arabic al-jibb the well Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ogive
Historical Examples
  • The ogive windows had all been walled in with brick except one.

  • The ogive arch of the nave compels you to raise your eyes to a great height.

    King of Camargue Jean Aicard
  • Each of the subterranean cells contains a row of pillars, surmounted by ogive arches.

    The Spell of Switzerland Nathan Haskell Dole
  • The glass of the rosace above the ogive glowed like fiery coal in the deep carvings of a wheel of stone.

    End of the Tether Joseph Conrad
  • The ogive, though it is present, does not illumine the long low weight of the great church.

    The Old Road Hilaire Belloc
  • What does it matter if they are equally elegant, if they have the same arial grace as the ogive?

  • Beyond the second enclosure, in a ploughed field, one can recognise the ruins of a chapel by the broken shafts of an ogive portal.

    Over Strand and Field

    Gustave Flaubert
  • We spied a hovel with a Gothic portal; further on was an old wall with an ogive door; a leafless bush swayed there in the breeze.

    Over Strand and Field

    Gustave Flaubert
  • Inside, a square gallery forms a promenade opening into the court through arcades trellised with ogive windows.

  • The ogive (pointed arch) of the cathedral, is achieved by two opposing thrusts.

British Dictionary definitions for ogive


/ˈəʊdʒaɪv; əʊˈdʒaɪv/
a diagonal rib or groin of a Gothic vault
another name for lancet arch
(statistics) a graph the ordinates of which represent cumulative frequencies of the values indicated by the corresponding abscissas
the conical head of a missile or rocket that protects the payload during its passage through the atmosphere
Derived Forms
ogival, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Old French, of uncertain origin
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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