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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 one. A curve ball is a pitch in baseball intended to be difficult to hit due to its curving path. 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

pitch (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 pitched 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 pitched me a curve ball.
See also: curve, pitch

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

ahead of the curve

Anticipating events, circumstances, problems. Similar to ahead of the pack, it may apply to knowing beforehand what election polls will indicate, or what the stock market will do. Philip Delves Broughton used it in the title of his book, Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School (2008). See also behind the curve.
See also: ahead, curve, of

behind the curve

Slow to react to changing conditions. Criticizing the Obama administration’s plans to stimulate the economy as too modest, the economist Paul Krugman wrote, “. . . the plan was too small and too cautious. The latest data . . . suggest that the Obama administration’s economic policies are already falling behind the curve” (New York Times, March 8, 2009). See also ahead of the curve.
See also: behind, curve
References in periodicals archive ?
She said, 'Miss Curvy is an event that will bring out the endowment of the real African woman.
Also as a curvy lady, wearing the proper under garments is crucial to having your best look so that you do not bulge in the wrong places.
Curvy Girls Rock Digital is a single-camera comedy series created by award-winning writer, Shakesha Williams, that follows plus size women navigating the tricky waters of both their personal and professional lives.
"I hope 15-year-old girls will look at me and know it's okay to look both curvy and natural and that they can still have what it takes to make it as a model."
Sabena Puri, co-founder of Stage3, while speaking about the intention and inspiration behind Stage3's Curvy Collection, said, "While interacting with our customers we noticed an under-serviced dress up need for curvy women in India.
The object of the study is to verify if the hypervisibility that produces the presence in this social network can play an emancipatory role and a possibility of social action through the celebrification in the case of curvy, a group of models and women of large sizes who Have claimed their non-hegemonic body.
"Our customers and members came from every corner of the UK and took part in the world record curvy photoshoot.
Now, a wedding planning portal and app has decided to challenge this ' skinny' idea of a perfect bride by turning the camera on four curvy brides- to- be.
Moore and Curvy had earlier got the better of William Buick and the Roger Varian-trained Talmada in the EP Taylor Stakes.
The size 18 cruise ship singer has already beaten hundreds of girls from across the globe to make it to the grand final, and is desperate to be the new face of Curvy Kate so that she can spread body positivity and confidence.
Clinique are here to help with their Curvy Contour and Curvy Contour and Hefty Highlight sticks.
SEXY comes in every size," Donna Hundley is determined to bring the latest trends and stylish pieces to curvy women by offering a service that's unique to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Curvy model to boost body confidence AN American champion for curvy girls will be appearing at a Birmingham store next week to talk about body confidence.
I WAS ONLINE LOOKING AT SPRING dresses, when I came across a collection of designer plus-size sheaths and shifts for the curvy girl and thought about how far the large-size world has come.