1. (medicine) a curving or bending; often abnormal;

- Example: "curvature of the spine"

2. the rate of change (at a point) of the angle between a curve and a tangent to the curve;

3. the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface;

[syn:

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Curvature \Cur"va*ture\ (k?r"v?-t?r; 135), n. [L. curvatura. See Curvate.] 1. The act of curving, or the state of being bent or curved; a curving or bending, normal or abnormal, as of a line or surface from a rectilinear direction; a bend; a curve. --Cowper. [1913 Webster] The elegant curvature of their fronds. --Darwin. [1913 Webster] 2. (Math.) The amount of degree of bending of a mathematical curve, or the tendency at any point to depart from a tangent drawn to the curve at that point. [1913 Webster] Aberrancy of curvature (Geom.), the deviation of a curve from a circular form. Absolute curvature. See under Absolute. Angle of curvature (Geom.), one that expresses the amount of curvature of a curve. Chord of curvature. See under Chord. Circle of curvature. See Osculating circle of a curve, under Circle. Curvature of the spine (Med.), an abnormal curving of the spine, especially in a lateral direction. Radius of curvature, the radius of the circle of curvature, or osculatory circle, at any point of a curve. [1913 Webster]WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

curvature n 1: (medicine) a curving or bending; often abnormal; "curvature of the spine" 2: the rate of change (at a point) of the angle between a curve and a tangent to the curve 3: the property possessed by the curving of a line or surface [syn: curvature, curve]