# Curve vs. Surface — What's the Difference?

## Compare with Definitions

#### Curve

In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line, but that does not have to be straight. Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving point.

#### Surface

A surface, as the term is most generally used, is the outermost or uppermost layer of a physical object or space. It is the portion or region of the object that can first be perceived by an observer using the senses of sight and touch, and is the portion with which other materials first interact.

#### Curve

A line that deviates from straightness in a smooth, continuous fashion.

#### Surface

The outside part or uppermost layer of something
The earth's surface

#### Curve

A surface that deviates from planarity in a smooth, continuous fashion.

#### Surface

A continuous set of points that has length and breadth but no thickness.

#### Curve

Something characterized by such a line or surface, especially a rounded line or contour of the human body.

#### Surface

Relating to or found on the surface of something
Surface layers

#### Curve

A relatively smooth bend in a road or other course.

#### Surface

Rise or come up to the surface of the water or the ground
He surfaced from his dive

#### Curve

A line representing data on a graph.

#### Surface

Provide (something, especially a road) with a particular surface
A small path surfaced with terracotta tiles

#### Curve

A trend derived from or as if from such a graph
"Once again, the politicians are behind the curve" (Ted Kennedy).

#### Surface

The outer or the topmost boundary of an object.

#### Curve

A graphic representation showing the relative performance of individuals as measured against each other, used especially as a method of grading students in which the assignment of grades is based on predetermined proportions of students.

#### Surface

A material layer constituting such a boundary.

#### Curve

The graph of a function on a coordinate plane.

#### Surface

The boundary of a three-dimensional figure.

#### Curve

The intersection of two surfaces in three dimensions.

#### Surface

The two-dimensional locus of points located in three-dimensional space.

#### Curve

The graph of the solutions to any equation of two variables.

#### Surface

A portion of space having length and breadth but no thickness.

#### Curve

(Baseball) A curve ball.

#### Surface

The superficial or external aspect
"a flamboyant, powerful confidence man who lives entirely on the surface of experience" (Frank Conroy).

#### Curve

(Slang) Something that is unexpected or designed to trick or deceive.

An airfoil.

#### Curve

To move in or take the shape of a curve
The path curves around the lake.

#### Surface

Relating to, on, or at a surface
Surface algae in the water.

#### Curve

To cause to curve.

#### Surface

Relating to or occurring on or near the surface of the earth.

#### Curve

(Baseball) To pitch (a ball) with a curve.

Superficial.

#### Curve

To grade (students, for example) on a curve.

#### Surface

Apparent as opposed to real.

#### Curve

(obsolete) Bent without angles; crooked; curved. Category:en:Curves
A curve line
A curve surface

#### Surface

To provide with a surface or apply a surface to
Surface a table with walnut.

#### Curve

A gentle bend, such as in a road.
You should slow down when approaching a curve.

#### Surface

To bring to the surface
Surface a submarine.

#### Curve

A simple figure containing no straight portions and no angles; a curved line.
She scribbled a curve on the paper.

#### Surface

To make known; expose or reveal
The first news report that surfaced the allegations.

#### Curve

A grading system based on the scale of performance of a group used to normalize a right-skewed grade distribution (with more lower scores) into a bell curve, so that more can receive higher grades, regardless of their actual knowledge of the subject.
The teacher was nice and graded the test on a curve.

#### Surface

To rise to the surface.

#### Curve

(analytic geometry) A continuous map from a one-dimensional space to a multidimensional space.

#### Surface

To emerge after concealment.

#### Curve

(geometry) A one-dimensional figure of non-zero length; the graph of a continuous map from a one-dimensional space.

#### Surface

To work or dig a mine at or near the surface of the ground.

#### Curve

(algebraic geometry) An algebraic curve; a polynomial relation of the planar coordinates.

#### Surface

The overside or up-side of a flat object such as a table, or of a liquid.

#### Curve

(topology) A one-dimensional continuum.

#### Surface

The outside hull of a tangible object.

#### Curve

The attractive shape of a woman's body.

#### Surface

(figurative) Outward or external appearance.
On the surface, the spy looked like a typical businessman.

#### Curve

(transitive) To bend; to crook.
To curve a line
To curve a pipe

#### Surface

The locus of an equation (especially one with exactly two degrees of freedom) in a more-than-two-dimensional space. Category:en:Surfaces

#### Curve

(transitive) To cause to swerve from a straight course.
To curve a ball in pitching it

#### Surface

(transitive) To provide something with a surface.

#### Curve

(intransitive) To bend or turn gradually from a given direction.
The road curves to the right

#### Surface

(transitive) To apply a surface to something.
The crew surfaced the road with bitumen.

#### Curve

(transitive) To grade on a curve (bell curve of a normal distribution).
The teacher will curve the test.

#### Surface

(intransitive) To rise to the surface.
There was great relief when the missing diver finally surfaced.

#### Curve

(transitive) (slang) To reject, to turn down romantic advances.
I was once curved three times by the same woman.

#### Surface

(transitive) To bring to the surface.

#### Curve

Bent without angles; crooked; curved; as, a curve line; a curve surface.

#### Surface

To come out of hiding.

#### Curve

A bending without angles; that which is bent; a flexure; as, a curve in a railway or canal.

#### Surface

To become known or apparent; to appear or be found.

#### Curve

A line described according to some low, and having no finite portion of it a straight line.

#### Surface

(transitive) To make (information or facts) known.

#### Curve

To bend; to crook; as, to curve a line; to curve a pipe; to cause to swerve from a straight course; as, to curve a ball in pitching it.

#### Surface

(intransitive) To work a mine near the surface.

#### Curve

To bend or turn gradually from a given direction; as, the road curves to the right.

#### Surface

The exterior part of anything that has length and breadth; one of the limits that bound a solid, esp. the upper face; superficies; the outside; as, the surface of the earth; the surface of a diamond; the surface of the body.
The bright surface of this ethereous mold.

#### Curve

The trace of a point whose direction of motion changes

#### Surface

Hence, outward or external appearance.
Vain and weak understandings, which penetrate no deeper than the surface.

#### Curve

A line on a graph representing data

#### Surface

A magnitude that has length and breadth without thickness; superficies; as, a plane surface; a spherical surface.

#### Curve

A baseball thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approach the batter

#### Surface

That part of the side which is terminated by the flank prolonged, and the angle of the nearest bastion.

#### Curve

The property possessed by the curving of a line or surface

#### Surface

To give a surface to; especially, to cause to have a smooth or plain surface; to make smooth or plain.

#### Surface

To work over the surface or soil of, as ground, in hunting for gold.

#### Curve

Turn sharply; change direction abruptly;
The car cut to the left at the intersection
The motorbike veered to the right

#### Surface

To rise from the depths of a liquid to the surface; as, the submarine surfaced to recharge its batteries.

#### Curve

Extend in curves and turns;
The road winds around the lake

#### Surface

To become known or public; - said of information.

#### Curve

Form an arch or curve;
Her back arches
Her hips curve nicely

#### Surface

To show up, as a person who was in hiding; as, he absconded with the payroll and surfaced in Argentina.

#### Curve

Bend or cause to bend;
He crooked his index finger

#### Surface

The outer boundary of an artifact or a material layer constituting or resembling such a boundary;
There is a special cleaner for these surfaces
The cloth had a pattern of red dots on a white surface

#### Curve

Form a curl, curve, or kink;
The cigar smoke curled up at the ceiling

#### Surface

The extended two-dimensional outer boundary of a three-dimensional object;
They skimmed over the surface of the water
A brush small enough to clean every dental surface
The sun has no distinct surface

#### Surface

The outermost level of the land or sea;
Earthquakes originate far below the surface
Three quarters of the Earth's surface is covered by water

#### Surface

A superficial aspect as opposed to the real nature of something;
It was not what it appeared to be on the surface

#### Surface

Information that has become public;
All the reports were out in the open
The facts had been brought to the surface

#### Surface

A device that provides reactive force when in motion relative to the surrounding air; can lift or control a plane in flight

#### Surface

Come to the surface

#### Surface

Put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface;
Coat the cake with chocolate

#### Surface

Appear or become visible; make a showing;
She turned up at the funeral
I hope the list key is going to surface again

#### Surface

On the surface;
Surface materials of the moon
Subsurface materials of the moon

#### Surface

Involving a surface only;
Her beauty is only skin-deep
Superficial bruising
A surface wound