- 1[transitive, intransitive] to make objects, patterns, etc. by cutting away material from wood or stone carve something a carved doorway carve something from/out of something The statue was carved out of a single piece of stone. The beads were carved from solid ivory. carve something into/in something The wood had been carved into the shape of a flower. (figurative) Over the centuries, melting snow had carved valleys in the landscape. carve in something She carves in both stone and wood. Topic CollocationsFine Artscreating art make a work of art/a drawing/a sketch/a sculpture/a statue/an engraving/an etching/a print do an oil painting/a self-portrait/a line drawing/a rough sketch create a work of art/an artwork/paintings and sculptures produce paintings/portraits/oil sketches/his most celebrated work/a series of prints paint a picture/a landscape/a portrait/a mural/in oils/in watercolors/on canvas draw a picture/a portrait/a cartoon/a sketch/a line/a figure/the human form/in charcoal/in ink sketch a preliminary drawing/a figure/a shape/an outline carve a figure/an image/a sculpture/an altarpiece/reliefs/a block of wood sculpt a (portrait) bust/a statue/an abstract figure etch a line/pattern/design/name into the glass mix colors/pigments/paints add/apply thin/thick layers of paint/color/pigment use oil pastels/charcoal/acrylic paint/a can of spray paint work in bronze/ceramics/stone/oils/pastels/watercolors/a wide variety of mediadescribing art paint/depict a female figure/a biblical scene/a pastoral landscape/a domestic interior have/express/depict/illustrate a traditional/mythological/historical/religious theme create an abstract composition/a richly textured surface/a distorted perspective paint dark/rich/flesh tones use broad brush strokes/loose brushwork/vibrant colors/a limited palette/simple geometric forms develop/adopt/paint in a stylized manner/an abstract styleshowing and selling art commission an altarpiece/a bronze bust of somebody/a portrait/a religious work/an artist to paint something frame a painting/a portrait/a piece/an artwork hang art/a picture/a painting/a piece/an artwork display/exhibit modern art/somebody's work/a collection/original artwork/ drawings/sculptures/a piece be displayed/hung in a gallery/museum install/place a sculpture in/at/on something erect/unveil/dedicate a bronze/marble statue hold/host/mount/open/curate/see an exhibition/exhibit be/go on exhibit feature/promote/showcase contemporary works/a conceptual artist collect African art/modern American paintings/Japanese prints restore/preserve great works of art/a fresco
- 2[transitive] carve something (on something) to write something on a surface by cutting into it They carved their initials on the desk. A Latin inscription had been carved on the lid of the box.
- 3to cut a large piece of cooked meat into smaller pieces for eating [transitive, intransitive] carve (something) carve (somebody) something Who's going to carve the turkey?
- 4 [transitive, no passive] to work hard in order to have a successful career, reputation, etc. carve something (out) He succeeded in carving out a career in media. carve something (out) for yourself She has carved out a place for herself in the fashion world. Idioms
NAmE//kɑrv//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they carve
he / she / it carves
past simple carved
-ing form carving
(of a decision, plan, etc.) unable to be changed People should remember that our proposals aren't set in stone. Phrasal Verbscarve somethingup
carved/set in stonejump to other results