What does carve mean?

Definitions for carve

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word carve.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. carveverb

    form by carving

    "Carve a flower from the ice"

  2. carve, chip atverb

    engrave or cut by chipping away at a surface

    "carve one's name into the bark"

  3. carve, cut upverb

    cut to pieces

    "Father carved the ham"


  1. carveverb

    To cut.

  2. carveverb

    To cut meat in order to serve it.

  3. carveverb

    To shape to sculptural effect.

  4. carveverb

    To perform a series of turns without pivoting. When the tip and tail of the snowboard take the same path.

  5. carveverb

    To produce something using skill.

  6. Etymology: kerven, from ceorfan, from kerbanan (cf. West Frisian kerve, Dutch kerven, German kerben ‘to notch’), from gerebh- ‘to scratch’ (cf. Old Prussian gīrbin ‘number’, Old Church Slavonic ‘lot, tallymark’, Ancient Greek γράφειν ‘to scratch, etch’).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To CARVEverb

    Etymology: ceorfan, Sax. kerven, Dutch.

    Taking the very refuse among those which served to no use, he hath carved it diligently when he had nothing else to do. Wisdom, xiii. 13.

    Had Democrates really carved mount Athos into a statue of Alexander the Great, and had the memory of the fact been obliterated by some accident, who could afterwards have proved it impossible, but that it might casually have been? Richard Bentley.

    Yet fearing idleness, the nurse of ill,
    In sculpture exercis’d his happy skill; And carv’d in iv’ry such a maid so fair,
    As nature could not with his art compare,
    Were she to work. Dryden.

    O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books,
    And in their barks my thoughts I’ll character;
    That every eye, which in this forest looks,
    Shall see thy virtue witness’d every where.
    Run, run, Orlando, carve on every tree,
    The fair, the chaste, the unexpressive she. William Shakespeare.

    He had been a keeper of his flocks, both from the violence of robbers and his own soldiers; who could easily have carved themselves their own food. South.

    How dares sinful dust and ashes invade the prerogative of providence, and carve out to himself the seasons and issues of life and death? South.

    The labourer’s share, being seldom more than a bare subsistence, never allows that body of men opportunity to struggle with the richer, unless when some common and great distress emboldens them to carve to their wants. John Locke.

    Or they will buy his sheep forth of the cote,
    Or they will carve the shepherd’s throat. Edmund Spenser, Pastorals.

    Brave Macbeth, with his brandish’d steel,
    Like valour’s minion, carved out his passage. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Carveverb

    I do mean to make love to Ford’s wife; I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Well then, things handsomely were serv’d;
    My mistress for the strangers carv’d. Matthew Prior.


  1. carve

    Carving is the act of using tools to shape something from a material by scraping away portions of that material. The technique can be applied to any material that is solid enough to hold a form even when pieces have been removed from it, and yet soft enough for portions to be scraped away with available tools. Carving, as a means for making stone or wooden sculpture, is distinct from methods using soft and malleable materials like clay, fruit, and melted glass, which may be shaped into the desired forms while soft and then harden into that form. Carving tends to require much more work than methods using malleable materials. Kinds of carving include:


  1. carve

    Carve means to cut, shape, or sculpt a piece of material such as wood, stone, or meat into a particular form or design, often using tools like knives or chisels. It can also metaphorically refer to establishing or creating something significant or notable.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Carveverb

    to cut

  2. Carveverb

    to cut, as wood, stone, or other material, in an artistic or decorative manner; to sculpture; to engrave

  3. Carveverb

    to make or shape by cutting, sculpturing, or engraving; to form; as, to carve a name on a tree

  4. Carveverb

    to cut into small pieces or slices, as meat at table; to divide for distribution or apportionment; to apportion

  5. Carveverb

    to cut: to hew; to mark as if by cutting

  6. Carveverb

    to take or make, as by cutting; to provide

  7. Carveverb

    to lay out; to contrive; to design; to plan

  8. Carveverb

    to exercise the trade of a sculptor or carver; to engrave or cut figures

  9. Carveverb

    to cut up meat; as, to carve for all the guests

  10. Carvenoun

    a carucate

  11. Etymology: [AS. ceorfan to cut, carve; akin to D. kerven, G. kerben, Dan. karve, Sw. karfva, and to Gr. gra`fein to write, orig. to scratch, and E. -graphy. Cf. Graphic.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Carve

    kärv, v.t. to cut into forms, devices, &c.: to make or shape by cutting: to cut up (meat) into slices or pieces: to apportion or distribute: (Shak.) to speak with suavity.—v.i. to exercise the trade of a sculptor.—p.adj. Carv′en, carved.—ns. Carv′er, one who carves: a sculptor: a carving-knife; Carv′ing, the act or art of carving, a branch of sculpture usually performed on wood or ivory: the device or figure carved: the act or art of cutting up meat at table.—Carve out, to hew out: to gain by one's exertions.—Cut and carve, to refine. [A. S. ceorfan, to cut; Dut. kerven; Ger. kerben, to notch.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'carve' in Verbs Frequency: #1002

Anagrams for carve »

  1. caver

  2. crave

  3. varec

How to pronounce carve?

How to say carve in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of carve in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of carve in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of carve in a Sentence

  1. V Naipaul:

    Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.

  2. National Development and Reform Commission:

    (The firms) created monopolies by agreeing to raise sales prices and to artificially carve up the market.

  3. Richard Allan:

    The convenience ... we understand why they want that, but we could not find any way to carve that out without opening up opportunities nobody would want to see.

  4. Jerome Kemp:

    I believe every one of our clients has the right to expect the information they share with us...is protected by confidentiality. There would be no carve out in respect to a central bank or any other client.

  5. Justin Moore:

    There are no winners today obviously, this presents a great issue for parents in the state of Texas. They don't know how to proceed when they have a child put in this condition as Payton Summons has been put in. So I believe our fight is going to continue on in order to carve out some real narrow language in the law to provide courts, lawyers and parents guidance because that's what they need in times like this.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for carve

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"carve." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/carve>.

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    wear away
    A flub
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