I. curve 1 S3 W3 /kɜːv $ kɜːrv/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . a line that gradually bends like part of a circle
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.
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
• • •
▪ 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.