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[skuhlp-cher] /ˈskʌlp tʃər/
the art of carving, modeling, welding, or otherwise producing figurative or abstract works of art in three dimensions, as in relief, intaglio, or in the round.
such works of art collectively.
an individual piece of such work.
verb (used with object), sculptured, sculpturing.
to carve, model, weld, or otherwise produce (a piece of sculpture).
to produce a portrait or image of in this way; represent in sculpture.
Physical Geography. to change the form of (the land surface) by erosion.
verb (used without object), sculptured, sculpturing.
to work as a sculptor.
Origin of sculpture
1350-1400; Middle English (noun) < Latin sculptūra, equivalent to sculpt(us) (past participle of sculpere to carve) + -ūra -ure
Related forms
sculptural, adjective
sculpturally, adverb
nonsculptural, adjective
nonsculpturally, adverb
resculpture, verb (used with object), resculptured, resculpturing.
unsculptural, adjective
Can be confused
sculptor, sculpture. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sculpture
  • It's the smallest three-dimensional sculpture ever made: a bull the size of a red blood cell.
  • Designing genomes will be a personal thing, a new art form as creative as painting or sculpture.
  • For prospective sculpture students, the questions only increase.
  • What will be indoors there hopefully will resemble sculpture.
  • Maxi designed the plywood tree sculpture and plywood umbrella caddy.
  • Our branch library had a sculpture that my mom checked out over and over again.
  • Visitors can watch history in the making, as drilling and blasting continue on the rest of the sculpture.
  • Its paths led to sculpture gardens and satellite patios tucked beneath shade trees.
  • Treks of varying distances transport you into veritable sculpture gardens full of eerie hoodoo.
  • He operates in a variety of mediums, from sculpture to painting, and frequently incorporates found objects into his work.
British Dictionary definitions for sculpture


the art of making figures or designs in relief or the round by carving wood, moulding plaster, etc, or casting metals, etc
works or a work made in this way
ridges or indentations as on a shell, formed by natural processes
the gradual formation of the landscape by erosion
verb (mainly transitive)
(also intransitive) to carve, cast, or fashion (stone, bronze, etc) three dimensionally
to portray (a person, etc) by means of sculpture
to form in the manner of sculpture, esp to shape (landscape) by erosion
to decorate with sculpture
Also (for senses 5–8) sculpt
Derived Forms
sculptural, adjective
sculpturally, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin sculptūra a carving; see sculpt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sculpture

late 14c., from Latin sculptura "sculpture," from past participle stem of sculpere "to carve, engrave," back-formation from compounds such as exculpere, from scalpere "to carve, cut," from PIE root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut, cleave" (see scale (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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