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

  • noun The art or practice of shaping figures or designs in the round or in relief, as by chiseling marble, modeling clay, or casting in metal.
  • noun A work of art created by sculpture.
  • noun Such works of art considered as a group.
  • noun Ridges, indentations, or other markings, as on a shell, formed by natural processes.
  • intransitive verb To fashion (stone, bronze, or wood, for example) into a three-dimensional figure.
  • intransitive verb To represent in sculpture.
  • intransitive verb To ornament with sculpture.
  • intransitive verb To change the shape or contour of, as by erosion.
  • intransitive verb To make sculptures or a sculpture.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To represent in sculpture; carve; grave; form with the chisel or other tool on or in wood, stone, or metal.
  • To ornament or cover with sculpture or carved work; carve.
  • noun The act or art of graving or carving; the art of shaping figures or other objects in the round or in relief out of or upon stone or other more or less hard substances.
  • noun Carved work; any work of sculpture, as a figure or an inscription cut in wood, stone, metal, or other solid substance.
  • noun An engraving; an illustration.
  • noun In zoöl., markings resulting from irregularity of surface or difference in texture of a part; tracery: as, the sculpture of an insect's wing-covers; the sculpture of the plates or shields of a fish; the sculpture of a turtle's shell.
  • noun See the qualifying words.
  • noun In physical geography, the change of land-forms by natural erosive processes.
  • In physical geography, to change the forms of (the land) by natural erosive processes.

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

  • noun The art of carving, cutting, or hewing wood, stone, metal, etc., into statues, ornaments, etc., or into figures, as of men, or other things; hence, the art of producing figures and groups, whether in plastic or hard materials.
  • noun Carved work modeled of, or cut upon, wood, stone, metal, etc.
  • transitive verb To form with the chisel on, in, or from, wood, stone, or metal; to carve; to engrave.
  • transitive verb (Zoöl.) a common North American wood tortoise (Glyptemys insculpta). The shell is marked with strong grooving and ridges which resemble sculptured figures.

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

  • noun uncountable The art of shaping figures or designs in the round or in relief, professionally performed by a sculptor
  • noun countable A work of art created by sculpting.
  • noun Works of art created by sculpting, as a group.
  • verb To fashion something into a three-dimensional figure.
  • verb To represent something in sculpture.
  • verb To change the shape of a land feature by erosion etc.

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

  • noun creating figures or designs in three dimensions
  • verb create by shaping stone or wood or any other hard material
  • noun a three-dimensional work of plastic art
  • verb shape (a material like stone or wood) by whittling away at it


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

[Middle English, from Latin sculptūra, from sculptus, past participle of sculpere, to carve; see skel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sculptura ("sculpture"), from sculpere ("to cut out, carve in stone").


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  • found in Merriam Webster's Dictionary pg 72

    November 15, 2010