Sculpture is a type of artwork that's two- or three-dimensional, so you can see it from different sides. You can make sculpture from clay, marble, wood, and even mashed potatoes, though the potato kind might not make it into an art museum.

From the Latin sculpere "to carve," sculpture often is carved out of a block of wood, stone, or other material. Statues and outdoor artworks are one type of sculpture, and they are freestanding — you can walk around them, under them, or even over them. Other types are carved into walls, with the figures or objects sticking out from a flat surface. Artists called sculptors use soft materials, metal, and even ice and common objects like cars and cans to make sculpture.

Definitions of sculpture
  1. noun
    a three-dimensional work of plastic art
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    Colossus of Rhodes
    a huge bronze statue of the sun god Helios that was built around 285 BC and that stood beside the harbor entrance on the island of Rhodes for about 50 years before it was toppled by an earthquake
    Statue of Liberty
    a large monumental statue symbolizing liberty on Liberty Island in New York Bay
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    a sculpture made of bronze
    a sculpture of the head and shoulders of a person
    a sculpture created by removing material (as wood or ivory or stone) in order to create a desired shape
    a sculpture carved from marble
    sculpture suspended in midair whose delicately balanced parts can be set in motion by air currents
    clay sculpture, modeling, mold, molding, mould, moulding
    sculpture produced by molding
    embossment, relief, relievo, rilievo, sculptural relief
    sculpture consisting of shapes carved on a surface so as to stand out from the surrounding background
    a sculpture having fixed units (usually constructed of sheet metal) and attached to a fixed support
    a sculpture representing a human or animal
    alto relievo, alto rilievo, high relief
    a sculptural relief in which forms extend out from the background to at least half their depth
    bas relief, basso relievo, basso rilievo, low relief
    a sculptural relief in which forms extend only slightly from the background; no figures are undercut
    an ornamental carving consisting of five arcs arranged in a circle
    glyptic art, glyptography
    carvings or engravings (especially on precious stones)
    a statue consisting of a squared stone pillar with a carved head (usually a bearded Hermes) on top; used in ancient Greece as a boundary marker or signpost
    half-relief, mezzo-relievo, mezzo-rilievo
    a sculptural relief between low relief and high relief
    nude, nude sculpture, nude statue
    a statue of a naked human figure
    Olympian Zeus
    a seated statue of the supreme god of ancient Greek mythology created for the temple at Olympia; the statue was 40 feet tall and rested on a base that was 12 feet high
    a carving (or engraving) on whalebone, whale ivory, walrus tusk, etc., usually by American whalers
    one of a number of large stone statues with the body of a lion and the head of a man that were built by the ancient Egyptians
    term, terminal figure, terminus
    (architecture) a statue or a human bust or an animal carved out of the top of a square pillar; originally used as a boundary marker in ancient Rome
    a decoration consisting of wormlike carvings
    a carving created by carving wood
    type of:
    plastic art
    the arts of shaping or modeling; carving and sculpture
    solid figure, three-dimensional figure
    a three-dimensional shape
  2. noun
    creating figures or designs in three dimensions
    synonyms: carving
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    modeling, modelling, molding, moulding
    a preliminary sculpture in wax or clay from which a finished work can be copied
    type of:
    art, artistic creation, artistic production
    the creation of beautiful or significant things
    beaux arts, fine arts
    the study and creation of visual works of art
  3. verb
    create by shaping stone or wood or any other hard material
    synonyms: sculpt
    grave, sculpt
    shape (a material like stone or wood) by whittling away at it
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    type of:
    forge, form, mold, mould, shape, work
    make something, usually for a specific function
  4. verb
    shape (a material like stone or wood) by whittling away at it
    synonyms: grave, sculpt
    create by shaping stone or wood or any other hard material
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    type of:
    form by carving
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