• (RP) IPA: /kɜːv/, [ˈkʰɜːv]
  • (America) IPA: /kɝv/, [ˈkʰɝv]


  1. (obsolete) Bent without angles; crooked; curved.
    a curve line
    a curve surface

curve (plural curves)

  1. A gentle bend, such as in a road.
    You should slow down when approaching a curve.
  2. A simple figure containing no straight portions and no angles; a curved line.
    She scribbled a curve on the paper.
  3. 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. (analytic geometry) A continuous map from a one-dimensional space to a multidimensional space.
  5. (geometry) A one-dimensional figure of non-zero length; the graph of a continuous map from a one-dimensional space.
  6. (algebraic geometry) An algebraic curve; a polynomial relation of the planar coordinates.
  7. (topology) A one-dimensional continuum.
  8. (informal, usually, in the plural) The attractive shape of a woman's body.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

curve (curves, present participle curving; past and past participle curved)

  1. (transitive) To bend; to crook.
    to curve a line
    to curve a pipe
  2. (transitive) To cause to swerve from a straight course.
    to curve a ball in pitching it
  3. (intransitive) To bend or turn gradually from a given direction.
    the road curves to the right
  4. To grade on a curve (bell curve of a normal distribution).
    The teacher will curve the test.
  5. (slang) To reject, to turn down romantic advances
Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: curvare
  • Portuguese: curvar
  • Russian: изгиба́ться

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