- To carve is to slice, to divide up, or to make something smaller by cutting or chiseling.
- An example of carve is to cut apart a turkey on Thanksgiving.
- An example of carve is to break a large piece of property into smaller lots.
- An example of carve is to create a wooden sculpture using wood tools.
A woman carves the Thanksgiving turkey.
transitive verbcarved, carving
- to make or shape by or as by cutting, chipping, hewing, etc.: carve a statue out of wood or stone, carve a career
- to decorate the surface of with cut figures or designs
- to divide by cutting; slice: to carve meat
- to divide into portions, as land: with up
Origin of carveMiddle English kerven ; from Old English ceorfan ; from Indo-European base an unverified form gerebh-, to scratch: see graphic
- to carve statues or designs
- to carve meat
verbcarved carved, carv·ing, carves
- a. To divide into pieces by cutting; slice: carved a roast.b. To divide by parceling out: carve up an estate.
- To cut into a desired shape; fashion by cutting: carve the wood into a figure.
- To make or form by or as if by cutting: carve initials in the bark; carved out an empire.
- To decorate by cutting and shaping carefully.
- To make (a turn or turns) smoothly and without skidding, as when skiing or riding a snowboard, by leaning sharply into the direction of the turn.
- To engrave or cut figures as an art, hobby, or trade.
- To disjoint, slice, and serve meat or poultry.
- To carve turns, as when skiing.
Origin of carveMiddle English kerven, from Old English ceorfan; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present carves, present participle carving, simple past carved or (archaic) carven, past participle carved)
- (obsolete) A carucate.
- half a carve of arable land
Middle English kerven, from Old English ċeorfan, from Proto-Germanic *kerbaną (compare Kyrgyz kerve, Dutch kerven, German kerben (“to notch”)), from Proto-Indo-European *gerebh- (“to scratch”) (cf. Old Prussian gīrbin ‘number’, Old Church Slavonic žrĕbĭjĭ ‘lot, tallymark’, Ancient Greek γράφειν (gráphein) ‘to scratch, etch’).