When you cut a design into a piece of wood or marble, you carve it. Headstone engravers carve people's names and the dates of their births and deaths into gravestones.

You might carve your initials into the tree in your backyard, or carve a walking stick out of a large branch. Some artists work by carving shapes from clay or granite, and a chef learns to carve, or precisely cut up, large cuts of meat and poultry. The Old English root word is ceorfan, "to cut, slay, carve, or engrave."

Definitions of carve

v engrave or cut by chipping away at a surface

carve one's name into the bark”
chip at
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carve with a chisel
engrave, grave, inscribe, scratch
carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface
engrave, etch
carve or cut a design or letters into
engrave or inscribe characters on
Type of:
separate with or as if with an instrument

v form by carving

Carve a flower from the ice”
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hew, hew out
make or shape as with an axe
grave, sculpt, sculpture
shape (a material like stone or wood) by whittling away at it
carve a pattern into
rough-hew, roughcast
hew roughly, without finishing the surface
carve a honeycomb pattern into
Type of:
separate with or as if with an instrument
forge, form, mold, mould, shape, work
make something, usually for a specific function

v cut to pieces

“Father carved the ham”
cut up
make shavings of or reduce to shavings
filet, fillet
cut into filets
Type of:
separate with or as if with an instrument

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