flatten the curve

[ flat-nthuh-kurv ]
/ ˈflæt n ðə ˈkɜrv /

idiom

(during a disease outbreak) to use public health measures to achieve a more gradual increase and decrease in the number of new cases, spreading the same total number of cases over a longer period of time, as depicted by a gently sloping curved line on a graph: Flattening the curve will prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients.

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Origin of flatten the curve

First recorded in 2005–10

Words nearby flatten the curve

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021