• synonyms


[adjective, verb kon-keyv, kon-keyv; noun kon-keyv]
See more synonyms for concave on Thesaurus.com
  1. curved like a segment of the interior of a circle or hollow sphere; hollow and curved.Compare convex(def 1).
  2. Geometry. (of a polygon) having at least one interior angle greater than 180°.
  3. Obsolete. hollow.
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  1. a concave surface, part, line, or thing.
  2. Machinery. a concave piece, as one against which a drum rotates.
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verb (used with object), con·caved, con·cav·ing.
  1. to make concave.
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Origin of concave

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin concavus, hollow. See con-, cave
Related formscon·cave·ly, adverbcon·cave·ness, nounsub·con·cave, adjectivesub·con·cave·ly, adverbsub·con·cave·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for concave

Historical Examples

  • In a concave mirror the top and bottom are inverted, but this is no transposition.



  • I am bending them in concave cathode of force over the city.

  • I ran up the twisted, concave surface of a giant stem of some kind.

    The Terror from the Depths

    Sewell Peaslee Wright

  • A dentist's mirror is concave; he sees your teeth enlarged in it.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • It was a concave lens, like some powerful optical instrument.

    The Whispering Spheres

    Russell Robert Winterbotham

British Dictionary definitions for concave


  1. curving inwards
  2. physics having one or two surfaces curved or ground in the shape of a section of the interior of a sphere, paraboloid, etca concave lens
  3. maths (of a polygon) containing an interior angle greater than 180°
  4. an obsolete word for hollow
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  1. (tr) to make concave
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Compare convex
Derived Formsconcavely, adverbconcaveness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin concavus arched, from cavus hollow
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 concave


early 15c., from Old French concave (14c.) or directly from Latin concavus "hollow, arched, vaulted, curved," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + cavus "hollow" (see cave (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

concave in Medicine


(kŏn-kāv, kŏnkāv′)
  1. Curved like the inner surface of a sphere.
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  1. A concave surface, structure, or line.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

concave in Science


  1. Curved inward, like the inside of a circle or sphere.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.