Meaning of CURVE in English


I. curve 1 S3 W3 /kɜːv $ kɜːrv/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

1 . a line that gradually bends like part of a circle

curve of

the curve of her hips

a sweeping curve of railroad track

2 . a line on a ↑ graph that gradually bends and represents a change in the amount or level of something:

The curve illustrates costs per capita.

demand/supply curve

The market demand curve has increased.

3 . a bend in a road, river etc:

The car took the curve much too quickly.

4 . ( also ˈcurve ball ) in baseball, a ball that spins and moves in a curve when it is thrown, so that it is difficult to hit

5 . throw somebody a curve American English to surprise someone with a question or problem that is difficult to deal with

6 . ahead of/behind the curve informal more advanced than other people in what you do or think, or less advanced than other people

⇨ ↑ learning curve

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ a smooth curve

He drew a line on the paper in a smooth curve.

▪ a gentle curve (=one that turns gradually in another direction)

the river's gentle curves

▪ a sharp/tight curve (=one that turns suddenly in another direction)

There's a tight curve in the road up ahead.

▪ an upward/downward curve

She stood watching the upward curve of the bird's flight.

▪ a sweeping curve (=wide and gentle)

the sweeping curve of the bay

▪ a graceful curve

Her arm arched over her head in a graceful curve.

II. curve 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]

[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: curvare , from curvus 'curved' ]

to bend or move in the shape of a curve, or to make something do this:

The track curved round the side of the hill.

A smile curved her lips.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.