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

  • n. 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.
  • n. A work of art created by sculpture.
  • n. Such works of art considered as a group.
  • n. Ridges, indentations, or other markings, as on a shell, formed by natural processes.
  • transitive v. To fashion (stone, bronze, or wood, for example) into a three-dimensional figure.
  • transitive v. To represent in sculpture.
  • transitive v. To ornament with sculpture.
  • transitive v. To change the shape or contour of, as by erosion.
  • intransitive v. To make sculptures or a sculpture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. Carved work modeled of, or cut upon, wood, stone, metal, etc.
  • transitive v. To form with the chisel on, in, or from, wood, stone, or metal; to carve; to engrave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • In physical geography, to change the forms of (the land) by natural erosive processes.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Carved work; any work of sculpture, as a figure or an inscription cut in wood, stone, metal, or other solid substance.
  • n. An engraving; an illustration.
  • n. 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.
  • n. See the qualifying words.
  • n.
  • n. In physical geography, the change of land-forms by natural erosive processes.

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

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


Middle English, from Latin sculptūra, from sculptus, past participle of sculpere, to carve; see skel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sculptura ("sculpture"), from sculpere ("to cut out, carve in stone"). (Wiktionary)



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  • found in Merriam Webster's Dictionary pg 72

    November 15, 2010