# curve

A curve is an arched or bent shape, like the curve of a smiling mouth or the curve of a road that twists and turns as you drive along the coast.

As a noun, a curve can be any shape that deviates from being perfectly straight. You can trace a curve on a graph, throw an arcing pitch in baseball called a curve ball, or just admire the curves of the rolling hills in the distance. And as a verb, curve means to make or form this non-straight shape: "When she's happy, my dog's tail curves up over her back."

Definitions of curve
1. noun
the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
synonyms: curved shape
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Antonyms:
straight line
a line traced by a point traveling in a constant direction; a line of zero curvature
types:
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Gaussian curve, Gaussian shape, bell-shaped curve, normal curve
a symmetrical curve representing the normal distribution
meander
a bend or curve, as in a stream or river
closed curve
a curve (such as a circle) having no endpoints
S-shape
a double curve resembling the letter S
catenary
the curve theoretically assumed by a perfectly flexible and inextensible cord of uniform density and cross section hanging freely from two fixed points
Cupid's bow
the double curve of the upper lip when considered to resemble Cupid's bow
undulation, wave
an undulating curve
the exterior curve of an arch
gooseneck
something in a thin curved form (like the neck of a goose)
the interior curve of an arch
bend, crook, turn, twist
a circular segment of a curve
crotchet, hook
a sharp curve or crook; a shape resembling a hook
envelope
a curve that is tangent to each of a family of curves
arc
a continuous portion of a circle
crenation, crenature, crenel, crenelle, scallop
one of a series of rounded projections (or the notches between them) formed by curves along an edge (as the edge of a leaf or piece of cloth or the margin of a shell or a shriveled red blood cell observed in a hypertonic solution etc.)
spiral
a plane curve traced by a point circling about the center but at increasing distances from the center
helix, spiral
a curve that lies on the surface of a cylinder or cone and cuts the element at a constant angle
perversion
a curve that reverses the direction of something
sinuosity, sinuousness
having curves
arch
a curved shape in the vertical plane that spans an opening
bell, bell shape, campana
the shape of a bell
arc, bow
something curved in shape
crescent
a curved shape tapers at the ends, like the moon in its first and last quarters
a curve or surface whose equation (in Cartesian coordinates) is of the second degree
line roulette, roulette
a line generated by a point on one figure rolling around a second figure
limb
the graduated arc that is attached to an instrument for measuring angles
oxbow
a U-shaped curve in a stream
rainbow
an arc of colored light in the sky caused by refraction of the sun's rays by rain
Jordan curve, simple closed curve
a closed curve that does not intersect itself
uncus
(biology) any hook-shaped process or part
bight
a bend or curve (especially in a coastline)
double helix
a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis
hyperboloid
a quadric surface generated by rotating a hyperbola around its main axis
cycloid
a line generated by a point on a circle rolling along a straight line
sine curve, sinusoid
the curve of y=sin x
epicycloid
a line generated by a point on a circle rolling around another circle
hypocycloid
a line generated by a point on a circle that rolls around inside another circle
type of:
line
a length (straight or curved) without breadth or thickness; the trace of a moving point
2. noun
the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface
synonyms: curvature
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curliness, waviness
(of hair) a tendency to curl
straightness
(of hair) lack of a tendency to curl
type of:
configuration, conformation, contour, form, shape
any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)
3. noun
synonyms: bend
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types:
blind bend, blind curve
a curve or bend in the road that you cannot see around as you are driving
elbow
a sharp bend in a road or river
hairpin bend
a U-shaped bend in a road
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section, segment
one of several parts or pieces that fit with others to constitute a whole object
4. noun
a line on a graph representing data
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regression curve, regression line
a smooth curve fitted to the set of paired data in regression analysis; for linear regression the curve is a straight line
type of:
line
a length (straight or curved) without breadth or thickness; the trace of a moving point
5. noun
a pitch of a baseball that is thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter
synonyms:
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delivery, pitch
(baseball) the act of throwing a baseball by a pitcher to a batter
6. verb
form a curl, curve, or kink
synonyms:
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change surface
undergo or cause to undergo a change in the surface
7. verb
form an arch or curve
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camber
curve upward in the middle
type of:
bend, flex
form a curve
8. verb
bend or cause to bend
synonyms: crook
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types:
recurve
curve or bend (something) back or down
type of:
bend, flex
form a curve
9. verb
extend in curves and turns
synonyms:
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types:
circumvolute
wind or turn in volutions, especially in an inward spiral, as of snail
spiral
form a spiral
snake
form a snake-like pattern
type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
10. verb
turn sharply; change direction abruptly
synonyms:
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types:
peel off
leave a formation
yaw
swerve off course momentarily
type of:
turn
change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
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