• WordNet 3.6
    • v curve form a curl, curve, or kink "the cigar smoke curled up at the ceiling"
    • v curve turn sharply; change direction abruptly "The car cut to the left at the intersection","The motorbike veered to the right"
    • v curve bend or cause to bend "He crooked his index finger","the road curved sharply"
    • v curve form an arch or curve "her back arches","her hips curve nicely"
    • v curve extend in curves and turns "The road winds around the lake","the path twisted through the forest"
    • n curve a pitch of a baseball that is thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter
    • n curve curved segment (of a road or river or railroad track etc.)
    • n curve the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface
    • n curve a line on a graph representing data
    • n curve the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Showing a plain column with curving capital Showing a plain column with curving capital
Mainly curved walls on the buildings; four minarets are visible Mainly curved walls on the buildings; four minarets are visible
Kinds of roofing materials excavated include flat tiles (shown here), curved pantiles, slate, and shingles Kinds of roofing materials excavated include flat tiles (shown here), curved pantiles, slate, and shingles

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1916, Jones Wister of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania invented a rifle for shooting around corners. It had a curved barrel and periscopic sights.
    • Curve A bending without angles; that which is bent; a flexure; as, a curve in a railway or canal.
    • curve a curve exhibiting the variations of pressure and volume of a fluid when it expands without either receiving or giving out heat.
    • Curve (Geom) A line described according to some low, and having no finite portion of it a straight line.
    • a Curve kûrv Bent without angles; crooked; curved; as, a curve line; a curve surface.
    • v. i Curve To bend or turn gradually from a given direction; as, the road curves to the right.
    • v. t Curve 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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • curve Bending; crooked; curved.
    • n curve A continuous bending; a flexure without angles; usually, as a concrete noun, a one-way geometrical locus which may be conceived as described by a point moving along a line round which as axis turns a plane, while the line rotates in the plane round the point. The curve is at the same time the envelop of the plane and of the line. Geometers understand a curve as something capable of being defined by an equation or equations, or otherwise described in general terms, It may thus have nodes, cusps, and other singularities, but must not be broken in a way which cannot be precisely defined without the use of special numbers. Curves are often employed in physics and statistics to represent graphically the changes in value of certain physical or statistical quantities: as, the energy curve of the solar spectrum; the isothermal line or curve; the curve of population.
    • n curve Anything continuously bent.
    • n curve A draftsman's instrument for forming curved figures.
    • n curve In base-ball, the course of a ball so pitched that it does not pass in a straight line from the pitcher to the catcher, but makes a deflection in the air other than the ordinary one caused by the force of gravity: as, it was difficult to gage the curves of the pitcher. An in curve is one that deflects from the straight line toward the batter; an out curve, away from the batter. A drop deflects downward, and a rise or up curve upward.
    • curve To bend; cause to take the shape of a curve; crook; inflect.
    • curve To have or assume a curved or flexed form: as, to curve inward.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Curve kurv anything bent: a bent or curved line: an arch
    • v.t Curve to bend: to form into a curve
    • ***


  • Joe Garagiola
    Joe Garagiola
    “Nolan Ryan is pitching much better now that he has his curve ball straightened out.”
  • Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
    “In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.”
  • Ring Lardner
    Ring Lardner
    “An optimist is a girl who mistakes a bulge for a curve.”
  • Bret Harte
    Bret Harte
    “Never a lip is curved with pain That can't be kissed into smiles again.”
  • Marshall Mcluhan
    “When producers want to know what the public wants, they graph it as curves. When they want to tell the public what to get, they say it in curves.”
  • Phyllis Diller
    Phyllis Diller
    “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”


Ahead of the curve - Similar to ahead of the pack, ahead of the curve literally refers to your position on the statistical bell curve, where the top of the curve represents the median, average result. By being ahead of the curve you represent the top percentile of results that either has the advanced skills or understanding that sets you apart.
Behind the curve - If you are behind the curve, you are behind or out of touch with current trends or developments. ('Ahead of the curve' iis the opposite)
Curve ball - (USA) If something is a curve ball, it is deceptive.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. curvare,., fr. curvus,. See Curve (a.) Curb


In literature:

The ellipse is a curve which can be readily constructed.
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball
Lianas wind in distorted curves through the branches, like giant snakes stiffened while fighting.
"Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific" by Felix Speiser
Then the batters know whether to step out to get a curve, or lay back to wallop a straight one.
"Baseball Joe in the Big League" by Lester Chadwick
The mandibles are powerful, red-brown, curved and sharp; when at rest they meet without crossing.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre
A curve turned, and the lights of Brocton were in sight.
"Ralph on the Engine" by Allen Chapman
Sometimes the upper end of the shaft is also curved.
"Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities--Head--Neck. Sixth Edition." by Alexander Miles
Draw curves A-E and B-E, the highest point of the curve being half an inch from the edge A-E-B.
"Construction Work for Rural and Elementary Schools" by Virginia McGaw
Three men, about fifty paces away, were coming at him, curved swords drawn.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
If bent in a curve, as shown, the section of the tube is an oval.
"How it Works" by Archibald Williams
Grit raced off, nose high, streaking around a curve.
"Rimrock Trail" by J. Allan Dunn

In poetry:

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.
"Woman Work" by Maya Angelou
Vain I asked the Zama meadows,
And the birds of Malahu :
Then I found the silent river,
Curving down from Kanaku.
"Wambala of the Streams." by R S Ward
So musing, did mine ears awake
To maiden tones of sweet reserve,
And manly speech that seemed to make
The steady curve
"The Letter L" by Jean Ingelow
Withal, the people who thus early
Began the ways to throng,
With curving back and visage surly,
Toiled painfully along.
"Two Visions" by Alfred Austin
The curving shore-line had the gleam
Of amethyst; it seemed to me
The ships were all like ships of dream
Upon the lilac sea.
"The Lilac Sea" by Clinton Scollard
A bracelet spun from mountain mist,
A silvery sash unwound,
With ox-bow curve and sinuous twist
It writhes to reach the Sound.
"After A Lecture On Wordsworth" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

On bends, overlap more on the inside of the curve and less on the outside.
For Barack Obama, of "jobs saved or created" and "bending the cost curve" fame, the term du jour is "headwinds.
In Dialogue With His Century, Volume 1 1907-1948: Learning Curve.
Jumping from GISA to the GHSA, Mount Vernon is in the big leagues now, except the Mustangs don't expect too much of a learning curve.
She covered the Style section of the June 26th, 2011 edition of The Sunday Times and in it she goes for high octane glamour, with loads of color and curves galore.
On Thursday, Tucker's Onion Burgers opens its second Oklahoma City location at Classen Curve at 5740 N Classen Blvd.
Fluke play pivotal in Curve victory.
A tiny sliver of space under the right field wall, just barely big enough for a baseball to squirt through, gave the Curve a big break Saturday night.
The distinctive spikes and curved hooks on its frill differentiate Spinops from other horned dinosaur s.
Mala Tang, the newly opened Sichuan hot-pot restaurant in Arlington, can have a bit of a learning curve for first-time diners.
What About Curves In The Control.
The requisite view of the Doges' Palace across the curve of the Grand Canal, a dream floating on shimmering waters.
0These curved incline conveyors are ideal for packaging lines where products need to change elevations as well as negotiate curves.
Learning curve remains steep for inexperienced Rockets.
On the inside, it's a rustic yet stylish tea room, complete with vintage gas stove, stairs of rough-sawn fir, softly curving walls, and a bathroom with accent lighting.

In science:

One of the problems in algebraic geometry motivated by conformal field theory is to study the behaviour of moduli space of semistable parabolic bundles on curve and its generalized theta functions when the curve degenerates to a singular curve.
Factorization of generalized theta functions at reducible case
Figure captions Fig. 1 Arg(r) (long-dashed curve), arg(t) (short-dashed curve) and θ (solid curve) for the hard walled stub.
Violation of general Friedel sum rule in mesoscopic systems
The Prym variety of a double cover C → D of a smooth connected pro jective curve D by a smooth connected curve C is defined (see ) as the identity component of the kernel of the norm homomorphism N : J (C ) → J (D) between the Jacobians of the curves.
The Hodge Conjecture for general Prym varieties
The curves C on which ˜f is non-constant are called horizontal curves, so one says briefly “each horizontal curve is degree 1”.
Rational polynomials of simple type
The above collection C of curves in P1 × P1 will consist of some vertical curves (that is, (0, 1) curves; one of these is L∞ ) and some other curves.
Rational polynomials of simple type