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above the curve

Being greater, better, or more advanced than the average in the relative field, especially in research or innovative pursuits. The research being done on leukemia here is far above the curve anywhere else in the world.
See also: above, curve

ahead of the curve

1. Better than average. I'm not sure how I did on that exam, but I think I'll end up ahead of the curve.
2. At the forefront of or leading in something, such as a developing situation, field of study or business, social development, etc. The new professor is way ahead of the curve with his research into genetics.
See also: ahead, curve, of

behind the curve

Not up to date or current in some area. Often said of politicians. Can you believe he made that sexist remark about women in the workplace? Wow, he's really behind the curve!
See also: behind, curve

curve ball

1. In baseball, a ball that curves in its trajectory toward home plate. He's a good batter, but he has a hard time hitting a curve ball.
2. An unexpected occurrence or thing that causes confusion or uncertainty. I thought I had confirmed my hypothesis, so these results are a real curve ball.
3. A deceptive action or thing. I don't know, I think her sudden displays of affection are just a curve ball to get me to trust her.
See also: ball, curve

curve to

To bend in a particular direction. I swung the bat but missed because the ball curved to the left at the last second.
See also: curve

throw (one) a curve (ball)

To do something unexpected or deceptive that surprises, confuses, thwarts, or outwits someone. Her confidence and fact-of-the-matter answers threw police a curve during their questioning. I had only been reading the textbook instead of going to classes, so a few of the questions on the final exam really threw me a curve ball.
See also: curve, throw

curve to something

to bend or bow toward something, some direction, or some place. The road curved to the left. One of her toes curves to the right.
See also: curve

pitch someone a curve(ball)

Fig. to surprise someone with an unexpected act or event. (Referring to a curve-ball in baseball. It is the route of the ball that is curved, not the ball itself. See also throw someone a curve(ball).) You really pitched me a curveball when you said I had done a poor job. I did my best. You asked Tom a trick question. You certainly pitched him a curve.
See also: curve, pitch

throw someone a curve

1. Lit. to pitch a curveball to someone in baseball. (See pitch someone a curve(ball).) The pitcher threw John a curve, and John swung wildly against thin air. During that game, the pitcher threw everyone a curve at least once.
2. Fig. to confuse someone by doing something tricky or unexpected. When you said "house" you threw me a curve. The password was supposed to be "home." John threw me a curve when we were making our presentation, and I forgot my speech.
See also: curve, throw

throw a curve

Surprise or outwit someone, as in They threw me a curve when they said that our department would be combined with yours. This colloquial term comes from baseball, where a pitcher tries to fool the batter by using a curve ball, which is thrown with sufficient spin to make it veer from its expected path. The term was transferred to other kinds of surprise, not necessarily unpleasant, in the mid-1900s.
See also: curve, throw

throw someone a curve


throw someone a curve ball

If someone throws you a curve or if they throw you a curve ball, they surprise you by doing something unexpected, sometimes causing you trouble. Just when they thought they might have the boss figured out, Knight would throw them a curve. Every so often Mother Nature throws us a curve ball. Note: You can refer to unexpected problems as curve balls. Once you get to know a person's habits and idiosyncrasies, there are fewer curve balls. Note: In baseball, a `curve ball' is a ball that curves through the air rather than travelling in a straight line.
See also: curve, someone, throw

behind (or ahead of) the curve

behind (or in advance of) the current trend.
The expression is probably based on the notion of the curve of a graph.
2005 Stylus Magazine Everyone knows the cultural stereotype – the Japanese are hopelessly, adorably behind the curve when it comes to Western music styles.
See also: behind, curve

throw a curve

cause confusion or consternation by acting unexpectedly. US informal
Curve is short for curve ball , a term in baseball for a delivery in which the pitcher causes the ball to deviate from a straight path by imparting spin.
See also: curve, throw

ahead of/behind the ˈcurve

(especially American English, business) in advance of or behind a particular trend: Our expert advice will help you stay ahead of the curve.We’ve fallen behind the curve when it comes to using the Internet.
See also: ahead, behind, curve, of
References in periodicals archive ?
However, if we take a closer look at the curve speed in different kinds of algorithms, methods and implementations, we can see significant speed differences even for curves of similar types.
The envelope curves thus obtained can be used in preliminary studies, conducted for the design of hydraulic structures.
Since its November 2014 debut, Taurus' Curve has endured its share of scrutiny, praise and criticism from the firearms industry.
Brakes must be applied carefully in curves in order to avoid an abrupt fall.
Fortunately Curves offers an efficient, effective 30-minute option that allows women to work out - with friends - and still have extra “me time” for other hobbies and interests.
With this in mind, we introduced Curves Complete - a complete programme with exercise, meal plan and one-on-one coaching.
French curves are used in drafting patterns or making pattern alterations.
The study of general planar algebraic cubic curves F(x, y) = 0 has long fascinated mathematicians.
The bottom line is that yield curves contain important information for business cycle analysis, but, like other indicators, should be interpreted with caution.
The offer is three free Curves workouts, including one free fitness assessment and induction per consumer.
Namely, rectifying, normal, and osculating planes of such curves always contain a particular point.
In the theory of curves in Euclidean space, one of the important and interesting problems is the characterization of a regular curve.
Several studies have compared treatment techniques to deal with exaggerated curves of Spee and the stability of those treatments25 Our findings provide insight into the magnitude of the curve of Spee in different malocclusion.
Curves are the route elements for the reformation of existing roads or new constructed highways with respect to new project speeds.
Motivated by the fact that on average 27 percent (11,071) of total fatalities occur on horizontal curves, the participating State departments of transportation (DOTs) selected horizontal curves as a priority for safety improvements.