Meaning of CURVE in English


I. ˈkərv, -ə̄v, -əiv adjective

Etymology: Latin curvus bent, curved — more at crown

archaic : curved

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Latin curvare, from curvus

intransitive verb

: to have or take a turn, change, or deviation from a straight line or course or from a level surface typically with a rounded gradual effect and without sharp breaks or angularity

the road curves around the town

transitive verb

1. : to cause to curve : form into a curving surface : bend

curving the line gracefully

curving the strips slightly


a. : to throw or propel (as a ball) so that a course follows curves or appears to curve

curving the next pitch

b. : to throw a curve ball to (a batter)


bend , twist : curve describes any deviation or swerving from the straight or level that suggests an arc of a circle or an ellipse

his lips were curved in a smile — Kenneth Roberts

over the roof a few swallows were curving — Ellen Glasgow

bend is likely to refer to an angular turning or curving at a certain point under a degree of force or pressure

bend the steel strips as required

bend the glass tube at the point indicated

Figuratively bend may imply some forcing or distortion of materials or of facts, or some pressure on or persuasion of people

was somewhat prone to bend logic to meet the demands of argument — E.S.Bates

not all prescriptive speech aims purely and typically at bending the hearer's attitudes to those of the speaker — W.D.Falk

twist is likely to suggest a force having a spiraling effect throughout the object involved rather than an effect at one point

the light steel rods twisted together by the explosion

Figuratively twist suggests a more extreme distortion than bend

an unconquerable confidence … which understates or twists into a wry joke the fatal moment of war — Times Literary Supplement

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: curve (I)

1. : a line or surface that curves : a bending without angles : bend , flexure

a train going around a curve

the stream describing many curves through the valley

2. : something curved: as

a. : a curving line of the human body ; especially : a curving line characteristic of an attractive feminine figure — usually used in plural

b. : french curve

c. curves plural : parentheses


a. or curve ball : a baseball pitch in which the ball swerves or appears to swerve from its normal or expected course of flight because of a spin put on it in delivery — compare inshoot , outshoot

b. : a ball bowled by a right-handed bowler that starts to the right and then veers to the left — compare hook

c. : trick , deception : the act of deluding or breaking a promise

4. : graph: as

a. : a usually curved line representing graphically a variable element as affected by one or more conditions

the price curve mounts to a peak in summer

b. : an indication of development or progress : course , rate , trend


a. : a line that may be precisely defined by an equation in such a way that the coordinates of its points are functions of a single independent variable or parameter


(1) : the intersection of two geometrical surfaces

(2) : the path of a moving point

6. : a teacher's arrangement of grades purporting to represent the distribution of excellent, medium, and poor performances that may be expected in a certain assignment or over a certain period

a teacher marking on a curve will give more C's than A's or D's

7. : characteristic curve a

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.