View synonyms for carve


[ kahrv ]

verb (used with object)

, carved, carv·ing.
  1. to cut (a solid material) so as to form something:

    to carve a piece of pine.

  2. to form from a solid material by cutting:

    to carve a statue out of stone.

  3. to cut into slices or pieces, as a roast of meat.
  4. to decorate with designs or figures cut on the surface:

    The top of the box was beautifully carved with figures of lions and unicorns.

  5. to cut (a design, figures, etc.) on a surface:

    Figures of lions and unicorns were carved on the top of the box.

  6. to make or create for oneself (often followed by out ):

    He carved out a career in business.

verb (used without object)

, carved, carv·ing.
  1. to carve figures, designs, etc.
  2. to cut meat.


/ kɑːv /


  1. tr to cut or chip in order to form something

    to carve wood

  2. to decorate or form (something) by cutting or chipping

    to carve statues

  3. to slice (meat) into pieces

    to carve a turkey

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Other Words From

  • carver noun
  • re·carve verb recarved recarving
  • semi·carved adjective
  • un·carved adjective
  • under·carve verb (used with object) undercarved undercarving
  • well-carved adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of carve1

before 1000; Middle English kerven, Old English ceorfan to cut; cognate with Middle Low German kerven, German kerben, Greek gráphein to mark, write; graph

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Word History and Origins

Origin of carve1

Old English ceorfan; related to Old Frisian kerva, Middle High German kerben to notch

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Example Sentences

Operating successfully in a competitive market, the website operators discovered tremendous growth opportunities for the business if a larger market share could be carved out.

India, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, and Indonesia are all deciding whether to try to carve out their own digital agendas or to act more as fence-sitters, playing China, the US, and the EU against one another.

Rivers can only carve out valleys if the water is running downhill.

The Tchambuli tended to put men in the role of artists who spent their days carving wooden masks and dancing, while the women fished and prepared food.

Such attempts to use information flows, in theory or practice, to carve nature at its joints are “the beginning of sketching out ideas and concepts that could be potentially foundational for new areas of biology,” Hoyal Cuthill said.

Al Qaeda has never managed to carve out a large chunk of real estate to call its own—in Afghanistan it was a guest of the Taliban.

Her new paradigm leads her to carve up shibboleths and heroes alike.

I sort of got lucky in that I was able to carve a niche for myself.

In Brazil, there was a microcosmic slice of the kind of public role he is attempting to carve.

Could it just be that prison itself conditions a sort of pavlovian reaction to carve chess pieces?

You could carve him to pieces without hearing a cheep, if he decided to keep his mouth shut.

A pair of carvers, laid with my cover, tell me that I shall have to carve the ham which is here eaten with the chicken.

Houdon then returned to France and proceeded to carve a Carrara marble statue of his subject.

The painter cannot put sounds upon a canvas, nor can the sculptor carve from marble an odor or a taste.

He was yet young, vigorous and ambitious, and with the help of heaven he would carve out his own fortune.