from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To divide into pieces by cutting; slice: carved a roast.
- transitive v. To divide by parceling out: carve up an estate.
- transitive v. To cut into a desired shape; fashion by cutting: carve the wood into a figure.
- transitive v. To make or form by or as if by cutting: carve initials in the bark; carved out an empire.
- transitive v. To decorate by cutting and shaping carefully.
- intransitive v. To engrave or cut figures as an art, hobby, or trade.
- intransitive v. To disjoint, slice, and serve meat or poultry.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To cut.
- v. To cut meat in order to serve it.
- v. To shape to sculptural effect.
- v. To perform a series of turns without pivoting, so that the tip and tail of the snowboard take the same path.
- v. To produce something using skill.
- n. A carucate.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To cut.
- transitive v. To cut, as wood, stone, or other material, in an artistic or decorative manner; to sculpture; to engrave.
- transitive v. To make or shape by cutting, sculpturing, or engraving; to form.
- transitive v. To cut into small pieces or slices, as meat at table; to divide for distribution or apportionment; to apportion.
- transitive v. To cut: to hew; to mark as if by cutting.
- transitive v. To take or make, as by cutting; to provide.
- transitive v. To lay out; to contrive; to design; to plan.
- intransitive v. To exercise the trade of a sculptor or carver; to engrave or cut figures.
- intransitive v. To cut up meat.
- n. A carucate.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To cut with an edged tool or sharp instrument.
- Specifically — To cut into pieces or slices, as meat at table; divide by cutting, or, figuratively, by parceling out: as, to carve a fowl; to carve up an estate.
- To cut (some solid material) in order to produce the representation of an object or a design; fashion by cutting: as, to carve a block of marble into a statue.
- To produce by cutting; form by cutting or hewing; grave or engrave; sculpture: as, to carve an image; to carve a design in boxwood.
- To decorate by carving; produce cut or sculptured designs upon: as, to carve, a capital; to carve a cherry-stone.
- To mark as with carving.
- To carve out. To make or form by carving or parceling; cut out: as, to carve out a smaller estate from a larger one.
- Figuratively, to achieve by exertion or skill: as, to carve out a career for one's self.
- To exercise the trade of a carver; engrave or cut figures.
- To cut up meat: as, to carve for all the guests.
- To carve for one's self, to do as one pleases; act independently.
- To grow sour; curdle: said of cream.
- n. See carue.
- To make a private sign to, at table. See II., 3.
- To make a private sign with the little finger at table, as when one carves (def. II., 2) or pretends to carve, or raises a glass to one's lips.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. cut to pieces
- v. engrave or cut by chipping away at a surface
- v. form by carving
Middle English kerven, from Old English ceorfan.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English kerven, from Old English ċeorfan, from Proto-Germanic *kerbanan (cf. West Frisian kerve, Dutch kerven, German kerben ‘to notch’), from Proto-Indo-European *gerebh- ‘to scratch’ (cf. Old Prussian gīrbin ‘number’, Old Church Slavonic žrĕbĭjĭ ‘lot, tallymark’, Ancient Greek γράφειν (gráphein) ‘to scratch, etch’). (Wiktionary)