Carve Out: Meaning and Usage in a Sentence

Carve Out: Meaning and Usage in a Sentence

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In this post, you’ll learn the phrasal verb ‘carve out’ and its meaning.

‘Carve out’ is derived from ‘carve’.

When you carve, you make objects or patterns by cutting away material from wood or stone.

You can carve ‘from’ or ‘out of’ something.

We can say “the statue was carved out of a single piece of stone.”

carve out meaning

The noun with the root ‘carve’ is carving. The result of carving something out is carving.

There may be wooden or stone carvings.

Now, ‘to carve out’ means to develop a career or position for yourself by working hard.

If you carve something out, it’s not an easy win as you need to make an effort.

You can carve out a position, a reputation, a niche, time, space, or money.

For instance:
  • She carved out a reputation among her male colleagues.
  • It can be difficult to carve out a niche in the fashion industry.
  • If you have ever changed a bad habit, or thought about something differently, you have carved a new pathway in your brain and experienced neuroplasticity firsthand.

People often use ‘carve out’ with ‘time’ that is hard to find. We can say “it’s so hard to carve time for meditation.”

As I was thinking about the word ‘carve out,’ I recalled my friend Maki, who created a project called Writer’s Carvings. Her project is all about ‘carvings’ that are created by writers. Their carvings are not made of wood or stone, but from words and thoughts.

So, I invited her to make a video about the meaning of ‘carve out’.


Here are Maki’s examples:
  • Writer’s Carvings is a niche that I carved out for myself.
  • During the pandemic, it’s very important to be able to carve out some time and space where you can feel relaxed and simply enjoy what you like.

You can find Maki on Instagram or FB.

Now it’s your turn!

Use ‘carve out’ in a sentence and share it in the comments.

Looking forward to seeing your examples!

You can find more words and vocabulary quizzes here

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Additional resources for ‘carve out’:

Carve out meaning in Free dictionary

Carve out sentences on Youglish 

Carving in Cambridge dictionary

Carve in Oxford dictionary

English Language enthusiast, the founder of and Speaking Club host.
I help English learners to boost their speaking skills and confidence.

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