- a continuously bending line, without angles.
- the act or extent of curving.
- any curved outline, form, thing, or part.
- a curved section of a road, path, hallway, etc.
- Railroads. a curved section of track: in the U.S. the curve is often expressed as the central angle, measured in degrees, of a curved section of track subtended by a chord 100 feet (30 meters) long (degree of curve).
- Also called curve ball, curveball. Baseball.
- a pitch delivered with a spin that causes the ball to veer from a normal straight path, away from the side from which it was thrown.
- the course of such a pitched ball.
- a graphic representation of the variations effected in something by the influence of changing conditions; graph.
- Mathematics. a collection of points whose coordinates are continuous functions of a single independent variable.
- a misleading or deceptive trick; cheat; deception.
- Education. a grading system based on the scale of performance of a group, so that those performing better, regardless of their actual knowledge of the subject, receive high grades: The new English professor marks on a curve.Compare absolute(def 10).
- a curved guide used in drafting.
verb (used with object), curved, curv·ing.
- to bend in a curve; cause to take the course of a curve.
- to grade on a curve.
- Baseball. to pitch a curve to.
verb (used without object), curved, curv·ing.
- to bend in a curve; take the course of a curve.
- having the shape of a curve; curved.
- ahead of/behindthe curve, at the forefront of (or lagging behind) recent developments, trends, etc.
- throw (someone) a curve,
- to take (someone) by surprise, especially in a negative way.
- to mislead or deceive.
- a continuously bending line that has no straight parts
- something that curves or is curved, such as a bend in a road or the contour of a woman’s body
- the act or extent of curving; curvature
- a system of points whose coordinates satisfy a given equation; a locus of points
- the graph of a function with one independent variable
- a line representing data, esp statistical data, on a graphan unemployment curve
- ahead of the curve ahead of the times; ahead of schedule
- behind the curve behind the times; behind schedule
- short for French curve
- to take or cause to take the shape or path of a curve; bend
n.1690s, “curved line,” from curve (v.). With reference to the female figure (usually plural, curves), from 1862; as a type of baseball pitch, from 1879. v.early 15c. (implied in curved), from Latin curvus “crooked, curved, bent,” and curvare “to bend,” both from PIE root *(s)ker- “to turn, bend” (see ring (n.)). n.
- A line or surface that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.
- Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
- A curved line representing variations in data on a graph.
- To move in or take the shape of a curve.
- A line or surface that bends in a smooth, continuous way without sharp angles.
- The graph of a function on a coordinate plane. In this technical sense, straight lines, circles, and waves are all curves.
Surprise or outwit someone, as in They threw me a curve when they said that our department would be combined with yours. This colloquial term comes from baseball, where a pitcher tries to fool the batter by using a curve ball, which is thrown with sufficient spin to make it veer from its expected path. The term was transferred to other kinds of surprise, not necessarily unpleasant, in the mid-1900s. see throw a curve.