Dictionary: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


to cut (a solid material) so as to form something:
to carve a piece of pine.
to form from a solid material by cutting:
to carve a statue out of stone.
to cut into slices or pieces, as a roast of meat.
to decorate with designs or figures cut on the surface:
The top of the box was beautifully carved with figures of lions and unicorns.
to cut (a design, figures, etc.) on a surface:
Figures of lions and unicorns were carved on the top of the box.
to make or create for oneself (often followed by out):
He carved out a career in business.
to carve figures, designs, etc.
to cut meat.
Contemporary Examples

The largest of those statutes is carved out of the weight equivalent of three elephants worth of salt.
Wieliczka Salt Mine Is an Incredible Polish Underground Amusement Park Nina Strochlic November 13, 2013

This pair of photos shows two faces of the same stone slab, with Medussa carved on one and a cross on the other.
Medusa vs. Christ Blake Gopnik April 4, 2012

I’ve carved out my own life, based on my own cultural philosophies, and left the debate behind (mostly).
This Is What It Is Like To Be Deaf From Birth Quora Contributor December 22, 2013

Remember how the façade was baked by the sun, how that carved frieze of saints swam upon the sea of light.
Proust: The Captive David Frum November 3, 2012

Hogwarts emerges from jagged brown rock that bleeds green moss, as if the building had been carved from the earth.
Harry Potter and the Plotless Theme Park Andy Dehnart July 14, 2010

Historical Examples

It was there that the Egyptians, in the days when they worshipped demons, carved their idols.
Thais Anatole France

On the wall opposite the house the name of “Gladstone” is carved.
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook

The gilded vanes on their twisted chimneys and carved parapets pointed motionless to the warm south.
Folle-Farine Ouida

The edges and corners of the box were carved with most wonderful skill.
The Paradise of Children Nathaniel Hawthorne

There was a litter, carved and gilt, with its four mattrasses of blue embroidered satin.
A Decade of Italian Women, vol. I (of 2) T. Adolphus Trollope

(transitive) to cut or chip in order to form something: to carve wood
to decorate or form (something) by cutting or chipping: to carve statues
to slice (meat) into pieces: to carve a turkey

Old English ceorfan (class III strong verb; past tense cearf, past participle corfen) “to cut, cut down, slay; to carve, cut out, engrave,” from West Germanic *kerfan (cf. Old Frisian kerva, Middle Dutch and Dutch kerven, German kerben “to cut, notch”), from PIE root *gerbh- “to scratch,” making carve the English cognate of Greek graphein “to write,” originally “to scratch” on clay tablets with a stylus.

Once extensively used, most senses now usurped by cut (v.). Meaning specialized to sculpture, meat, etc., by 16c. Related: Carved; carving. Original strong conjugation has been abandoned, but archaic carven lingers.


To give one a thrill; send: He carves me. Does he carve you? (1930s+ Jive talk)

The arts of engraving and carving were much practised among the Jews. They were practised in connection with the construction of the tabernacle and the temple (Ex. 31:2, 5; 35:33; 1 Kings 6:18, 35; Ps. 74:6), as well as in the ornamentation of the priestly dresses (Ex. 28:9-36; Zech. 3:9; 2 Chr. 2:7, 14). Isaiah (44:13-17) gives a minute description of the process of carving idols of wood.


Read Also:

  • Carvel

    caravel. Contemporary Examples It features sampling of a prank call to carvel, a local ice-cream chain. Best of Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, and the Beastie Boys (Video) The Daily Beast Video May 3, 2012 Historical Examples And that was to say good-night to the Colonel, and more frigidly to Miss carvel herself. The Crisis, Complete […]

  • Carvel-built

    (of a ship’s hull) formed of planks laid close on the frames so as to present a smooth exterior. Compare clinker-built (def 2). Historical Examples They were all carvel-built boats, and the bows of each were armed with a broad sheet of copper as a protection from the ice. The Great Frozen Sea Albert Hastings […]

  • Carven

    carved. Historical Examples He turned her hand and saw that the ring was shaped and carven like a crown—a crown with points. The Tigress Anne Warner He stole about, and the carven shell He hid in his bosom away. Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood George MacDonald He sat there like a carven figure with his face in […]

  • Carveout

    noun a class of medical treatments, esp. for catastrophic and mental health care, handled separately by insurance coverage Usage Note carveout adj

Disclaimer: Carved definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.