carve

[kahrv]

verb (used with object), carved, carv·ing.

verb (used without object), carved, carv·ing.

to carve figures, designs, etc.
to cut meat.

Origin of carve

before 1000; Middle English kerven, Old English ceorfan to cut; cognate with Middle Low German kerven, German kerben, Greek gráphein to mark, write; see graph
Related formscarv·er, nounre·carve, verb, re·carved, re·carv·ing.sem·i·carved, adjectiveun·carved, adjectiveun·der·carve, verb (used with object), un·der·carved, un·der·carv·ing.well-carved, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for carve out

carve out

verb

(tr, adverb) to make or create (a career)he carved out his own future

carve

verb

(tr) to cut or chip in order to form somethingto carve wood
to decorate or form (something) by cutting or chippingto carve statues
to slice (meat) into piecesto carve a turkey

Word Origin for carve

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

carve

v.

Old English ceorfan (class III strong verb; past tense cearf, past participle corfen) "to cut, cut down, slay; to carve, cut out, engrave," from West Germanic *kerfan (cf. Old Frisian kerva, Middle Dutch and Dutch kerven, German kerben "to cut, notch"), from PIE root *gerbh- "to scratch," making carve the English cognate of Greek graphein "to write," originally "to scratch" on clay tablets with a stylus.

Once extensively used, most senses now usurped by cut (v.). Meaning specialized to sculpture, meat, etc., by 16c. Related: Carved; carving. Original strong conjugation has been abandoned, but archaic carven lingers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper