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

  • n. A line that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.
  • n. A surface that deviates from planarity in a smooth, continuous fashion.
  • n. Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
  • n. A relatively smooth bend in a road or other course.
  • n. A line representing data on a graph.
  • n. A trend derived from or as if from such a graph: "Once again, the politicians are behind the curve” ( Ted Kennedy).
  • n. 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.
  • n. Mathematics The graph of a function on a coordinate plane.
  • n. Mathematics The intersection of two surfaces in three dimensions.
  • n. Mathematics The graph of the solutions to any equation of two variables.
  • n. Baseball A curve ball.
  • n. Slang Something that is unexpected or designed to trick or deceive.
  • intransitive v. To move in or take the shape of a curve: The path curves around the lake.
  • transitive v. To cause to curve. See Synonyms at bend1.
  • transitive v. Baseball To pitch a curve ball to.
  • transitive v. To grade (students, for example) on a curve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj.
  • adj. Bent without angles; crooked; curved.
  • n. A bending without angles; that which is bent; a flexure.
  • n. A line described according to some low, and having no finite portion of it a straight line.
  • intransitive v. To bend or turn gradually from a given direction.
  • transitive v. To bend; to crook; ; to cause to swerve from a straight course.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bending; crooked; curved.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Anything continuously bent.
  • n. A draftsman's instrument for forming curved figures.
  • n. 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.
  • 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.

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

  • n. a line on a graph representing data
  • v. bend or cause to bend
  • v. turn sharply; change direction abruptly
  • n. the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface
  • n. curved segment (of a road or river or railroad track etc.)
  • n. the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
  • v. extend in curves and turns
  • v. form an arch or curve
  • v. form a curl, curve, or kink
  • n. a pitch of a baseball that is thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter


From Middle English, curved, from Latin curvus. N., sense 6, short for curve ball.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin curvus ("bent, curved") (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.


    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