1. The art or practice of shaping figures or designs in the round or in relief, as by chiseling marble, modeling clay, or casting in metal.
a. A work of art created by sculpture.
b. Such works of art considered as a group.
3. Ridges, indentations, or other markings, as on a shell, formed by natural processes.
v. sculp·tured, sculp·tur·ing, sculp·tures
1. To sculpt.
2. To ornament with sculpture: sculptured the façade of the cathedral.
To make sculptures or a sculpture.
[Middle English, from Latin sculptūra, from sculptus, past participle of sculpere, to carve; see skel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.