early 15c. (implied in curved), from Latin curvus "crooked, curved, bent," and curvare "to bend," both from PIE root *(s)ker- "to turn, bend" (see ring (n.)).
1690s, "curved line," from curve (v.). With reference to the female figure (usually plural, curves), from 1862; as a type of baseball pitch, from 1879.
A line or surface that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.
Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.
A curved line representing variations in data on a graph.
Something tricky and unexpected; a sly maneuver: Barring another last-minute curve ball from Lorenzo, Ueberroth is expected to win the battle for Eastern Airlines (1940s+)