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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. 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.
to bend in a curve; cause to take the course of a curve.
to grade on a curve.
Baseball. to pitch a curve to.
to bend in a curve; take the course of a curve.
having the shape of a curve; curved.
ahead of / behind the 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.

Contemporary Examples

Monsters of Fashion Exhibition Opens in Paris Sarah Moroz February 19, 2013
My Eulogy for My Father, Murray Frum David Frum May 30, 2013
‘Archer Creator Adam Reed on ‘Vice,’ Season 6’s ‘Unreboot,’ and New Characters Marlow Stern August 4, 2014
Meet America’s New Top Ebola Fighter Abby Haglage September 25, 2014
Hedi Slimane Interview: ‘California Song’ at MOCA Los Angeles (PHOTOS) Isabel Wilkinson January 19, 2012

Historical Examples

The Potter’s Craft Charles F. Binns
The Lost Princess of Oz L. Frank Baum
The Heritage of the Desert Zane Grey
The Daughter of a Magnate Frank H. Spearman
The Grammar School Boys of Gridley H. Irving Hancock

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 graph: an 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

v. curved, curv·ing, curves
To move in or take the shape of a curve.

see: throw a curve


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  • Behind hand

    late; tardy. behind in progress; backward: They were never behindhand in following artistic fads. in debt or arrears. Historical Examples Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson The story of Burnt Njal Anonymous Funny Big Socks Sarah L. Barrow Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China Evariste Regis Huc A Lecture […]

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    Also, behind on. Late with; not progressing quickly enough with. For example, The builders are behind on this project, or I can’t take time out or I’ll be too far behind in my work. The same idea is also expressed as behind time, where time means a schedule or appointed time, as in The bus […]

  • Behind one’s back

    the rear part of the human body, extending from the neck to the lower end of the spine. the part of the body of animals corresponding to the human back. the rear portion of any part of the body: the back of the head. the whole body, with reference to clothing: the clothes on his […]

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