[oh-jahyv, oh-jahyv]
  1. Architecture.
    1. a diagonal vaulting rib.
    2. a pointed arch.
  2. Statistics. the distribution curve of a frequency distribution.
  3. Rocketry. the curved nose of a missile or rocket.

Origin of ogive

1605–15; < French, Middle French ogive, augive < Spanish aljibe < Spanish Arabic al-jibb the well
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ogive

Historical Examples of ogive

  • The ogive windows had all been walled in with brick except one.

  • The ogive arch of the nave compels you to raise your eyes to a great height.

    King of Camargue

    Jean Aicard

  • Each of the subterranean cells contains a row of pillars, surmounted by ogive arches.

    The Spell of Switzerland

    Nathan Haskell Dole

  • The glass of the rosace above the ogive glowed like fiery coal in the deep carvings of a wheel of stone.

    End of the Tether

    Joseph Conrad

  • The ogive, though it is present, does not illumine the long low weight of the great church.

    The Old Road

    Hilaire Belloc

British Dictionary definitions for ogive


  1. a diagonal rib or groin of a Gothic vault
  2. another name for lancet arch
  3. statistics a graph the ordinates of which represent cumulative frequencies of the values indicated by the corresponding abscissas
  4. the conical head of a missile or rocket that protects the payload during its passage through the atmosphere
Derived Formsogival, adjective

Word Origin for ogive

C17: from Old French, of uncertain origin
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