[ adjective, verb kon-keyv, kon-keyv; noun kon-keyv ]
/ adjective, verb kɒnˈkeɪv, ˈkɒn keɪv; noun ˈkɒn keɪv /


curved like a segment of the interior of a circle or hollow sphere; hollow and curved.Compare convex(def 1).
Geometry. (of a polygon) having at least one interior angle greater than 180°.
Obsolete. hollow.


a concave surface, part, line, or thing.
Machinery. a concave piece, as one against which a drum rotates.

verb (used with object), con·caved, con·cav·ing.

to make concave.

Nearby words

  1. conc.,
  2. concanavalin a,
  3. concatenate,
  4. concatenation,
  5. concato's disease,
  6. concave lens,
  7. concavely,
  8. concavity,
  9. concavo-concave,
  10. concavo-concave lens

Origin of concave

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin concavus, hollow. See con-, cave

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for concave

British Dictionary definitions for concave


/ (ˈkɒnkeɪv, kɒnˈkeɪv) /


curving inwards
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
maths (of a polygon) containing an interior angle greater than 180°
an obsolete word for hollow


(tr) to make concave
Compare convex

Derived Formsconcavely, adverbconcaveness, noun

Word Origin for concave

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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for concave


[ kŏn-kāv, kŏnkāv′ ]


Curved like the inner surface of a sphere.


A concave surface, structure, or line.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for concave


[ kŏnkāv′ ]

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