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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.
The elegant curvature of their fronds. Darwin.
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.
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.