What does curve mean?

Definitions for curve

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. curve, curved shapenoun

    the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes

  2. curvenoun

    a line on a graph representing data

  3. curve, curve ball, breaking ball, bendernoun

    a pitch of a baseball that is thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter

  4. curvature, curvenoun

    the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface

  5. bend, curveverb

    curved segment (of a road or river or railroad track etc.)

  6. swerve, sheer, curve, trend, veer, slue, slew, cutverb

    turn sharply; change direction abruptly

    "The car cut to the left at the intersection"; "The motorbike veered to the right"

  7. wind, twist, curveverb

    extend in curves and turns

    "The road winds around the lake"; "the path twisted through the forest"

  8. arch, curve, arcverb

    form an arch or curve

    "her back arches"; "her hips curve nicely"

  9. crook, curveverb

    bend or cause to bend

    "He crooked his index finger"; "the road curved sharply"

  10. curl, curve, kinkverb

    form a curl, curve, or kink

    "the cigar smoke curled up at the ceiling"


  1. curvenoun

    A gentle bend, such as in a road.

    You should slow down when approaching a curve.

  2. curvenoun

    A simple figure containing no straight portions and no angles; a curved line.

    She scribbled a curve on the paper.

  3. curvenoun

    A grading system based on the scale of performance of a group used to normalize a right-skewed grade distribution (with more lower scores) into a bell curve, so that more can receive higher grades, regardless of their actual knowledge of the subject.

    The teacher was nice and graded the test on a curve

  4. curvenoun

    A continuous map from a one-dimensional space to a multidimensional space.

  5. curvenoun

    A one-dimensional figure of non-zero length; the graph of a continuous map from a one-dimensional space.

  6. curvenoun

    An algebraic curve; a polynomial relation of the planar coordinates.

  7. curvenoun

    A one-dimensional continuum.

  8. curvenoun

    (informal, usually in plural curves) The attractive shape of a woman's body.

  9. curveverb

    To bend; to crook.

  10. curveverb

    To cause to swerve from a straight course.

    to curve a ball in pitching it

  11. curveverb

    To bend or turn gradually from a given direction.

    the road curves to the right

  12. curveverb

    To grade on a curve (bell curve of a normal distribution).

    The teacher will curve the test.

  13. curveadjective

    Bent without angles; crooked; curved.

  14. Etymology: From curvus

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Curveadjective

    Crooked; bent; inflected; not streight.

    Etymology: curvus, Latin.

    Unless an intrinsick principle of gravity or attraction, may make it describe a curve line about the attracting body. Richard Bentley.

  2. Curvenoun

    Any thing bent; a flexure or crookedness of any particular form.

    And as you lead it round, in artful curve,
    With eye intentive mark the springing game. James Thomson.

  3. To CURVEverb

    To bend; to crook; to inflect.

    Etymology: curvo, Latin.

    And the tongue is drawn back and curved. William Holder, on Speech.


  1. Curve

    In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line, but that does not have to be straight. Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving point. This is the definition that appeared more than 2000 years ago in Euclid's Elements: "The [curved] line is […] the first species of quantity, which has only one dimension, namely length, without any width nor depth, and is nothing else than the flow or run of the point which […] will leave from its imaginary moving some vestige in length, exempt of any width."This definition of a curve has been formalized in modern mathematics as: A curve is the image of an interval to a topological space by a continuous function. In some contexts, the function that defines the curve is called a parametrization, and the curve is a parametric curve. In this article, these curves are sometimes called topological curves to distinguish them from more constrained curves such as differentiable curves. This definition encompasses most curves that are studied in mathematics; notable exceptions are level curves (which are unions of curves and isolated points), and algebraic curves (see below). Level curves and algebraic curves are sometimes called implicit curves, since they are generally defined by implicit equations. Nevertheless, the class of topological curves is very broad, and contains some curves that do not look as one may expect for a curve, or even cannot be drawn. This is the case of space-filling curves and fractal curves. For ensuring more regularity, the function that defines a curve is often supposed to be differentiable, and the curve is then said to be a differentiable curve. A plane algebraic curve is the zero set of a polynomial in two indeterminates. More generally, an algebraic curve is the zero set of a finite set of polynomials, which satisfies the further condition of being an algebraic variety of dimension one. If the coefficients of the polynomials belong to a field k, the curve is said to be defined over k. In the common case of a real algebraic curve, where k is the field of real numbers, an algebraic curve is a finite union of topological curves. When complex zeros are considered, one has a complex algebraic curve, which, from the topological point of view, is not a curve, but a surface, and is often called a Riemann surface. Although not being curves in the common sense, algebraic curves defined over other fields have been widely studied. In particular, algebraic curves over a finite field are widely used in modern cryptography.


  1. curve

    A curve is a continuous and smooth flowing line in a plane or space, created by a point moving in a specific defined path. This path can be either two-dimensional or three-dimensional and is determined by a mathematical function or a set of parametric equations. It can be straight like a line or take other forms such as a circle, ellipse, parabola, or hyperbola, among others.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Curveadjective

    bent without angles; crooked; curved; as, a curve line; a curve surface

  2. Curveadjective

    a bending without angles; that which is bent; a flexure; as, a curve in a railway or canal

  3. Curveadjective

    a line described according to some low, and having no finite portion of it a straight line

  4. Curveadjective

    to bend; to crook; as, to curve a line; to curve a pipe; to cause to swerve from a straight course; as, to curve a ball in pitching it

  5. Curveverb

    to bend or turn gradually from a given direction; as, the road curves to the right

  6. Etymology: [See Curve, a., Cirb.]


  1. Curve

    In mathematics, a curve is, generally speaking, an object similar to a line but which is not required to be straight. This entails that a line is a special case of curve, namely a curve with null curvature. Often curves in two-dimensional or three-dimensional Euclidean space are of interest. Various disciplines within mathematics have given the term different meanings depending on the area of study, so the precise meaning depends on context. However many of these meanings are special instances of the definition which follows. A curve is a topological space which is locally homeomorphic to a line. In everyday language, this means that a curve is a set of points which, near each of its points, looks like a line, up to a deformation. A simple example of a curve is the parabola, shown to the right. A large number of other curves have been studied in multiple mathematical fields. The term curve has several meanings in non-mathematical language as well. For example, it can be almost synonymous with mathematical function, or graph of a function. An arc or segment of a curve is a part of a curve that is bounded by two distinct end points and contains every point on the curve between its end points. Depending on how the arc is defined, either of the two end points may or may not be part of it. When the arc is straight, it is typically called a line segment.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Curve

    kurv, n. anything bent: a bent or curved line: an arch.—v.t. to bend: to form into a curve.—adjs. Cur′vāte, -d, curved or bent in a regular form.—n. Curvā′tion.—adj. Cur′vative.—n. Cur′vature, a curving or bending: the continual bending or the amount of bending from a straight line.—adjs. Curved; Cur′vicaudate, having a crooked tail; Curvicos′tate, having curved ribs; Curvifō′liate, having curved leaves; Cur′viform; Cur′ving; Curviros′tral, with the bill curved downward; Cur′vital, of or pertaining to curvature.—n. Cur′vity, the state of being curved. [L. curvus, crooked.]

Suggested Resources

  1. curve

    Song lyrics by curve -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by curve on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'curve' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3829

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'curve' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4764

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'curve' in Nouns Frequency: #1297

How to pronounce curve?

How to say curve in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of curve in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of curve in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of curve in a Sentence

  1. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

    We are flattening the curve by what we're doing and we're flattening the curve so far, you can't relax. The flattening of the curve last night happened because of what we did yesterday.

  2. President Barack Obama:

    The way it was handled indicates that the NFL was behind the curve, as a lot of institutions have been behind the curve, in sending a clear message.

  3. Oystein Berentsen:

    The flat curve is related to the shale oil boom. The back of the curve is broken because of producers selling as soon as curve prices edge up. They need the cash, especially shale and medium-sized producers.

  4. Link Starbureiy:

    We can see that taxes are important in Life, not because of greed, but because Nature's way of dealing with insecurity is to bound residues to an algebraic curve.

  5. Phyllis Diller:

    A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for curve

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • kurweAfrikaans
  • крива, извивки, извивам се, извивка, извивам, изкривявамBulgarian
  • corba, revolt, corbesCatalan, Valencian
  • ohyb, křivkaCzech
  • kurve, kurverDanish
  • Kurve, Linie, biegen, verbiegenGerman
  • καμπύλη, καμπύλεςGreek
  • kurbiĝo, vojturno, kurbo, sinuo, ĝirejoEsperanto
  • curvas, curvar, curva, encorvarSpanish
  • kurbaBasque
  • خم, پیچ, منحنیPersian
  • kaari, käyristää, kaartaa, kurvi, kaarre, käyrä, kurvit, mutkaFinnish
  • courbe, courbes, courberFrench
  • cuarIrish
  • bogha, lùb, cromScottish Gaelic
  • עקימה, חיטוביםHebrew
  • görbeHungarian
  • kurvaIndonesian
  • kurvo, kurveskarIdo
  • curva, curvareItalian
  • עֲקוּמָהHebrew
  • 曲がる, 曲線Japanese
  • 구부러지다, 구부리다Korean
  • kreivė, linkis, vingisLithuanian
  • līkums, līkneLatvian
  • ānauMāori
  • облини, витка, искривува, облина, свиок, крива, се извива, свиткуваMacedonian
  • curve, kromme, plooien, kromming, bocht, krommen, rondingen, figuur, buigen, afbuigenDutch
  • zakręt, krzywaPolish
  • curva, curvar, curvas, envergarPortuguese
  • linie curbă, linie curbată, curbă, curbeRomanian
  • поворот, кривая, изгибать, изгибы, гнуться, изгиб, гнуть, изгибатьсяRussian
  • облина, облине, oblineSerbo-Croatian
  • krivuljaSlovene
  • kurva, kröka, böja, figurSwedish
  • వంపు, వొంపులు, వంపులుTelugu
  • kıvrım, eğri, eğilmek, kıvrılmak, bükmek, eğmek, kıvırmakTurkish
  • криваUkrainian

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"curve." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/curve>.

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    dark and gloomy
    • A. lacerate
    • B. naiant
    • C. irascible
    • D. tenebrous

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