American English

Definition of curve noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a line or surface that bends gradually; a smooth bend the delicate curve of her ear a pattern of straight lines and curves a curve in the road The driver lost control on a curve and the vehicle hit a tree. to plot a curve on a graph (technology) the unemployment-income curve (= a line on a graph showing the relationship between the number of unemployed people and national income) see also learning curve
  2. 2(also curve ball) (in baseball) a ball that moves in a curve when it is thrown to the batter (figurative) One of the journalists threw the senator a curve (= surprised him by asking a difficult question).
  3. Idioms
    ahead of/behind the curve (business)
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    in advance of or behind a particular trend Our expert advice will help you stay ahead of the curve. We've fallen behind the curve when it comes to developing new digital products.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: curve

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