carve

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be carved in stone

To be made permanent, typically of a plan or idea. We might get brunch next weekend, but nothing is carved in stone yet.
See also: carve, stone

carve (something) from (something)

To use a knife or other tool to carve a block or mass of some material, typically wood, into a desired shape. I'm always so impressed by artisans that can carve animal figures from blocks of wood.
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carve (something) in stone

To make something permanent and incapable of being changed, typically a plan or idea. We might get brunch next weekend, but we haven't carved anything in stone yet.
See also: carve, stone

carve (something) into (something)

1. To etch something into a particular surface or material. Don't carve your initials into your desk unless you want to get detention.
2. To use a knife or other tool to carve a block of some material, typically wood, into a desired shape. I'm always so impressed by artisans that can carve blocks of wood into beautiful animal figures.
See also: carve

carve out

1. Literally, to remove the inner part of an object. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carve" and "out." The first step in this recipe is to carve out your fruit and dispose of the seeds. They made canoes by carving out big logs.
2. To establish a niche or role for oneself. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carve" and "out." It took a long time, and many small acting parts, before I was able to carve out a career as a character actor.
3. To take or obtain a portion of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carve" and "out." I decided to invest in their unique product because I could see it carving out a chunk of the tech market in the near future.
See also: carve, out

carve up

1. To cut or divide something into smaller pieces. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carve" and "up." It's tradition for my dad to carve up the turkey. I think the project will feel less daunting if we carve it up into sections and each work on one.
2. To injure or damage someone or something by cutting. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carve" and "up." When that guy punched me in the face, his ring really carved me up. I hope I don't need stiches! That guy really carved up the side of my car when he sideswiped me.
See also: carve, up

carved in stone

Permanently fixed or firmly established; incapable of being changed. Often used in the negative. The deal isn't yet carved in stone, but we're confident it will go ahead as hoped.
See also: carve, stone

carve someone or something up

to damage someone or something by careless or purposeful cutting (of a person, can be figurative). Someone carved the tabletop up. Who did it and why? The boxer wanted to carve up his opponent.
See also: carve, up

carve something from something

to shape by cutting something off or out of something with a knife. Can you carve an elephant from a bar of soap?
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carve something in stone

Fig. to fix some idea permanently. No one has carved this one approach in stone; we have several options.
See also: carve, stone

carve something into something

 
1. and carve something in to cut letters or symbols into something. He carved his initials into a tree. He carved in the letters one by one.
2. to create a carved object by sculpturing raw material. Ken carved the apple into a tiny snowman.
See also: carve

carve something out

to hollow something out by carving; to make something hollow by carving. Can he carve a bowl out of such soft wood? He carved out the bowl of the pipe and then began to sand it.
See also: carve, out

carve something out (of something)

to remove something from the inside of something else by carving or cutting. She carved the insides out. She carved out the insides of the pumpkin.
See also: carve, out

carve something up

to divide something up, perhaps carelessly. The peace treaty carved the former empire up into several countries. You can't just carve up one country and give the pieces away.
See also: carve, up

carved in stone

 and engraved in stone; written in stone
Fig. permanent or not subject to change. (Often in the negative.) Now, this isn't carved in stone yet, but this looks like the way it's going to be. Is this policy carved in stone, or can it still be modified?
See also: carve, stone

carve out something

also carve something out
1. to create a reputation, rank, or job through skillful activities She carved out a reputation for herself as a high-powered lawyer.
2. to get a part of something Those companies carved out a sizable share of the imported pasta market.
See also: carve, out

carve up something

also carve something up
to divide something into parts The new owner carved up the company and sold off several divisions. Local leaders have carved up the forest and turned the land over to a company that built homes on it.
See also: carve, up

be carved/set in stone

if an arrangement, a plan, or a rule is set in stone, it is completely fixed so that it cannot be changed (usually negative) The rules aren't set in stone; they can be altered to suit changing circumstances. These are just a few ideas to be discussed - nothing is carved in stone.
See also: carve, stone
References in classic literature ?
Whatever may be the carved and embroidered envelope of a cathedral, one always finds beneath it--in the state of a germ, and of a rudiment at the least--the Roman basilica.
The shopman (he knows my friend) was naturally a little staggered at first; but, quickly recovering himself, and feeling that something ought to be done to encourage this sort of thing, asked our hero if he would like to see some fine old carved oak.
The tops of their heads had no hair, but were carved into a variety of fantastic shapes, some having a row of points or balls around the top, others designs resembling flowers or vegetables, and still others having squares that looked like waffles cut criss-cross on their heads.
He made a more careful examination of his visitor, and soon discovered that Jack's features were carved into a smile and that he could not look grave if he wished to.
The floor of the chamber was of concrete, the walls of smooth granite, upon which strange figures of men and beasts were carved.
Was it--could it be--the man who had carved the letters on the plank?
Once through the opening they found a fine, big city spread out before them, all the houses of carved marble in beautiful colors.
As they were disputing, they passed a statue carved in stone, which represented "a Lion strangled by a Man.
Resting by the wayside a little later, the Tramp carved upon the smooth bark of a birch-tree the words, "John Gump, Champion Genius.
There was brother Bartholomew with a crucifix of rare carved ivory, and brother Luke With a white-backed psalter adorned with golden bees, and brother Francis with the "Slaying of the Innocents" most daintily set forth upon vellum.
Some, covered with obscene totemic figures and designs, were carved from solid tree trunks forty or fifty feet in length.
And the brass balls on the iron railings shone much brighter than ever; one would have thought they were polished on account of the visit; and it was as if the carved-out trumpeters-for there were trumpeters, who stood in tulips, carved out on the door--blew with all their might, their cheeks appeared so much rounder than before.
We carve and paint, or we behold what is carved and painted, as students of the mystery of Form.
Out in the library--the big room where the telephone is, you know--you will find a carved box on the lower shelf of the big case with glass doors in the corner not far from the fireplace.
The famous little Becky Puppet has been pronounced to be uncommonly flexible in the joints, and lively on the wire; the Amelia Doll, though it has had a smaller circle of admirers, has yet been carved and dressed with the greatest care by the artist; the Dobbin Figure, though apparently clumsy, yet dances in a very amusing and natural manner; the Little Boys' Dance has been liked by some; and please to remark the richly dressed figure of the Wicked Nobleman, on which no expense has been spared, and which Old Nick will fetch away at the end of this singular performance.