from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A line that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.
  • noun A surface that deviates from planarity in a smooth, continuous fashion.
  • noun Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
  • noun A relatively smooth bend in a road or other course.
  • noun A line representing data on a graph.
  • noun A trend derived from or as if from such a graph.
  • noun A graphic representation showing the relative performance of individuals as measured against each other, used especially as a method of grading students in which the assignment of grades is based on predetermined proportions of students.
  • noun The graph of a function on a coordinate plane.
  • noun The intersection of two surfaces in three dimensions.
  • noun The graph of the solutions to any equation of two variables.
  • noun Baseball A curve ball.
  • noun Slang Something that is unexpected or designed to trick or deceive.
  • intransitive verb To move in or take the shape of a curve.
  • intransitive verb To cause to curve.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To pitch (a ball) with a curve.
  • intransitive verb To grade (students, for example) on a curve.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bend; cause to take the shape of a curve; crook; inflect.
  • To have or assume a curved or flexed form: as, to curve inward.
  • Bending; crooked; curved.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Anything continuously bent.
  • noun A draftsman's instrument for forming curved figures.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Bent without angles; crooked; curved.
  • intransitive verb To bend or turn gradually from a given direction.
  • noun A bending without angles; that which is bent; a flexure.
  • noun (Geom.) A line described according to some low, and having no finite portion of it a straight line.
  • noun See under Axis.
  • noun See Brachystochrone.
  • noun (Math.) the process of determining the shape, location, singular points, and other peculiarities of a curve from its equation.
  • noun (Geom.) a curve such that when a plane passes through three points of the curve, it passes through all the other points of the curve. Any other curve is called a curve of double curvature, or a twisted curve.
  • transitive verb To bend; to crook; ; to cause to swerve from a straight course.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective obsolete Bent without angles; crooked; curved.
  • noun A gentle bend, such as in a road.
  • noun A simple figure containing no straight portions and no angles; a curved line.
  • noun 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.
  • noun analytic geometry A continuous map from a one-dimensional space to a multidimensional space.
  • noun geometry A one-dimensional figure of non-zero length; the graph of a continuous map from a one-dimensional space.
  • noun algebraic geometry An algebraic curve; a polynomial relation of the planar coordinates.
  • noun topology A one-dimensional continuum.
  • noun informal The attractive shape of a woman's body.
  • verb transitive To bend; to crook.
  • verb transitive To cause to swerve from a straight course.
  • verb intransitive To bend or turn gradually from a given direction.
  • verb To grade on a curve (bell curve of a normal distribution).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a line on a graph representing data
  • verb bend or cause to bend


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Middle English, curved, from Latin curvus; see sker- in Indo-European roots. N., sense 6, short for curve ball.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin curvus ("bent, curved")


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    While these new models are not the standard size 0 or 2 that we often see gracing the catwalk, they are not going to let the size of their clothing define them. Instead, they're trying to change the way the fashion industry (and the rest of the world) sees them, with the term "curve" — which describes the shape of their body, not just their waistline.

    The movement recently came into the spotlight after 18-year-old model Jordyn Woods, a newcomer to the modeling scene, was featured in an interview on in which she referred to herself as a "curve model" rather than the more common industry term, "plus-size."

    December 9, 2015