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See more synonyms for sculpture on Thesaurus.com
  1. the art of carving, modeling, welding, or otherwise producing figurative or abstract works of art in three dimensions, as in relief, intaglio, or in the round.
  2. such works of art collectively.
  3. an individual piece of such work.
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verb (used with object), sculp·tured, sculp·tur·ing.
  1. to carve, model, weld, or otherwise produce (a piece of sculpture).
  2. to produce a portrait or image of in this way; represent in sculpture.
  3. Physical Geography. to change the form of (the land surface) by erosion.
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verb (used without object), sculp·tured, sculp·tur·ing.
  1. to work as a sculptor.
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Origin of sculpture

1350–1400; Middle English (noun) < Latin sculptūra, equivalent to sculpt(us) (past participle of sculpere to carve) + -ūra -ure
Related formssculp·tur·al, adjectivesculp·tur·al·ly, adverbnon·sculp·tur·al, adjectivenon·sculp·tur·al·ly, adverbre·sculp·ture, verb (used with object) re·sculp·tured, re·sculp·tur·ing.un·sculp·tur·al, adjective
Can be confusedsculptor sculpture
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sculpture

sculpt, cut, fashion, chisel, cast, shape, hew, engrave, carve, model, mold, sculp

Examples from the Web for sculpture

Contemporary Examples of sculpture

Historical Examples of sculpture

British Dictionary definitions for sculpture


  1. the art of making figures or designs in relief or the round by carving wood, moulding plaster, etc, or casting metals, etc
  2. works or a work made in this way
  3. ridges or indentations as on a shell, formed by natural processes
  4. the gradual formation of the landscape by erosion
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verb (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to carve, cast, or fashion (stone, bronze, etc) three dimensionally
  2. to portray (a person, etc) by means of sculpture
  3. to form in the manner of sculpture, esp to shape (landscape) by erosion
  4. to decorate with sculpture
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Also (for senses 5–8): sculpt
Derived Formssculptural, adjectivesculpturally, adverb

Word Origin for sculpture

C14: from Latin sculptūra a carving; see sculpt
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 sculpture


late 14c., from Latin sculptura "sculpture," from past participle stem of sculpere "to carve, engrave," back-formation from compounds such as exculpere, from scalpere "to carve, cut," from PIE root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut, cleave" (see scale (n.1)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper