[ kurv ]
/ kɜrv /
a continuously bending line, without angles.
the act or extent of curving.
any curved outline, form, thing, or part.
a curved section of a road, path, hallway, etc.
Railroads. a curved section of track: in the U.S. the curve is often expressed as the central angle, measured in degrees, of a curved section of track subtended by a chord 100 feet (30 meters) long (degree of curve).
Also called curve ball, curveball. Baseball.
- a pitch delivered with a spin that causes the ball to veer from a normal straight path, away from the side from which it was thrown.
- the course of such a pitched ball.
a graphic representation of the variations effected in something by the influence of changing conditions; graph.
Mathematics. a collection of points whose coordinates are continuous functions of a single independent variable.
a misleading or deceptive trick; cheat; deception.
Education. a grading system based on the scale of performance of a group, so that those performing better, regardless of their actual knowledge of the subject, receive high grades: The new English professor marks on a curve.Compare absolute(def 10).
a curved guide used in drafting.
verb (used with object), curved, curv·ing.
to bend in a curve; cause to take the course of a curve.
to grade on a curve.
Baseball. to pitch a curve to.
verb (used without object), curved, curv·ing.
to bend in a curve; take the course of a curve.
having the shape of a curve; curved.
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- to take (someone) by surprise, especially in a negative way.
- to mislead or deceive.
ahead of/behindthe curve, at the forefront of (or lagging behind) recent developments, trends, etc.
throw (someone) a curve,
Origin of curve
1565–75; (< Middle French) < Latin curvus crooked, bent, curved
curv·ed·ly [kur-vid-lee] /ˈkɜr vɪd li/, adverbcurv·ed·ness, nouncurve·less, adjectiveun·curved, adjective
un·curv·ing, adjectiveun·der·curve, nounun·der·curve, verb (used without object), un·der·curved, un·der·curv·ing.well-curved, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for curve ball (1 of 2)
baseball a ball pitched in a curving path so as to make it more difficult to hit
informal something deceptivehis wholesome image was a curve ball thrown to deceive the public
British Dictionary definitions for curve ball (2 of 2)
/ (kɜːv) /
a continuously bending line that has no straight parts
something that curves or is curved, such as a bend in a road or the contour of a woman's body
the act or extent of curving; curvature
- a system of points whose coordinates satisfy a given equation; a locus of points
- the graph of a function with one independent variable
a line representing data, esp statistical data, on a graphan unemployment curve
ahead of the curve ahead of the times; ahead of schedule
behind the curve behind the times; behind schedule
short for French curve
to take or cause to take the shape or path of a curve; bend
Related formsRelated adjective: sinuous
Derived Formscurvedly (ˈkɜːvɪdlɪ), adverbcurvedness, nouncurvy, adjective
Word Origin for curve
C15: from Latin curvāre to bend, from curvus crooked
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
Medicine definitions for curve ball
[ kûrv ]
A line or surface that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.
Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
A curved line representing variations in data on a graph.
To move in or take the shape of a curve.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for curve ball
[ kûrv ]
A line or surface that bends in a smooth, continuous way without sharp angles.
The graph of a function on a coordinate plane. In this technical sense, straight lines, circles, and waves are all curves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with curve ball
see throw a curve.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.