Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: SCULPTURE

Language: Old English
Origin: ceorfan

carve

verb
     
carve
1

make object or pattern

[transitive]AVS to make an object or pattern by cutting a piece of wood or stone [↪ carving]
carve something out of/from something
a statue carved from a single block of marble
carved wooden chairs
2

cut something into a surface

[transitive] to cut a pattern or letter on the surface of something
carve something on/in/into something
Someone had carved their initials on the tree.
3

cut meat

[intransitive and transitive]DFC to cut a large piece of cooked meat into smaller pieces using a knife:
Carve the meat into slices.
Who's going to carve?
4

job/position/life

[transitive] also carve out to succeed in getting the job, position, life etc that you want:
He carved a niche for himself as a writer.
She carved out a successful career in the film industry.
He moved to Boston to carve out a new life for himself.
5

water/wind

[transitive] if a river, the wind etc carves land or rock, it removes some of it:
The river had carved channels in the limestone rock.

➔ not be carved in stone

at stone1 (9)
6

reduce something

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to reduce the size of something by removing some of it
carve something from something
The company carved $1 million from its budget.

carve somebody/something ↔ up

phrasal verb
1 to divide land, a company etc into smaller parts and share it between people - used especially to show disapproval:
The Ottoman Empire was carved up by Britain and France after World War I.
The two companies are attempting to carve up a large slice of America's publishing industry between them.
2 British English informal to drive past a car and then suddenly move in front of it so that you are too close
WORD FOCUS: cut WORD FOCUS: cut
chop to cut vegetables, meat, or wood into pieces
slice
to cut bread, vegetables, or meat into thin pieces
dice
to cut vegetables into small pieces
peel
to cut the outside part off an onion, apple etc
grate
to cut cheese or vegetables into small pieces by rubbing them against a special tool
carve
to cut pieces from a large piece of meat
saw
to cut wood using a special tool called a saw
chop down
to cut down a tree, using an axe
snip
to cut something quickly using scissors
shave
to remove hair from your face or body
trim
to remove small parts of something to make it look neat
mow
to cut grass
prune
to cut off the top part of plants, in order to make them grow better
cut

See also
cut
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