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carve (out) a niche

To establish a unique role (for oneself), usually by excelling in a very specific area. I was able to carve out a niche at the farmers' market by selling something no one else was—dried beans. Our graphic designer really carved out a niche for himself with that series of innovative ads.
See also: carve, niche

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.
See also: carve

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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 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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Butt, who spent many decades in European countries, described foreign tourists and art lovers as the lifeline of these stone carvers, adding when these tourists turned their back on Pakistan the local stone craving profession died and now some master craftsmen are running hotels, tea shops, buses or have shifted to tomb carving and pottery making.
Among the already discovered carvings is Poeung Komnou, or Poeung Keng Korng, on the northern side of Kulen Mountain.
They are hired for their expertise in slicing, carving and serving the ham at weddings, official functions and other private events.
Teaching wood carving is no easy feat and apprentices also must possess certain skills, according to Ac-ac.
The piece, "Dreams at the River" (see Figure 2), is a relief carving on Butternut wood.
He toldThe Hinduin 2015 following a tour of the temple: "Neither the officials nor the scholar who wrote its history were able to explain how it (the carving) came there."
His most recent carving is a 4-foot rendition of a customer's pet wolf.
The aim of the paper is to determine the public's aesthetics preferences for perforated carving panels.
If you want to share your pictures of Halloween costumes or pumpkin carvings with us just email them to, remembering to include your name and where you're from
If you could do with a few tips to ensure that your attempt at pumpkin can take pride of place in your front window rather than being shoved in the corner out of view here's a carving guide (and yes we probably are making it sound easier than it is!)
Synopsis: With "Realistic Pumpkin Carving: 24 Spooky, Scary, and Spine-Chilling Designs" by award winning pumpkin carver Lundy Cupp, even the most novice of pumpkin carvers can make Halloween magic this year and carve the best pumpkin on their block!
This tip is for carving into leatherhard clay with students in your classroom.
Sculpting and carving are very intricate and patience-consuming art forms.
I decided to go for carving lessons since I had no idea how to transfer my art onto wood.
Draw your template or print a template on paper and cut out the areas you will be carving. ?