carve [ka:v US ka:rv] v
1¦(make object or pattern)¦
2¦(cut something into a surface)¦
3¦(cut meat)¦
6¦(reduce something)¦
Phrasal verbs
 carve somebody/something<=>up
[: Old English; Origin: ceorfan]
to make an object or pattern by cutting a piece of wood or stone
→↑carving carve sth out of/from sth
a statue carved from a single block of marble
carved wooden chairs
to cut a pattern or letter on the surface of something
carve sth on/in/into sth
Someone had carved their initials on the tree.
3.) ¦(CUT MEAT)¦ [I and T]
to cut a large piece of cooked meat into smaller pieces using a knife
Carve the meat into slices.
Who's going to carve?
also carve out
to succeed in getting the job, position, life etc that you want
He had carved a niche for himself as a photographer.
She carved out a very successful career in the film industry.
He moved to San Francisco to carve out a new life for himself.
5.) ¦(WATER/WIND)¦ [T]
if a river, the wind etc carves land or rock, it removes some of it
The river had carved channels in the limestone rock.
not be carved in stone atstone1 (9)
6.) ¦(REDUCE SOMETHING)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition]
to reduce the size of something by removing some of it
carve sth from sth
The company carved $1 million from its budget.
carve up [carve sb/sth<=>up] phr v
1.) to divide land, a company etc into smaller parts and share it between people - used especially to show disapproval
The Ottoman Empire was carved up by Britain and France after World War I.
The two companies are attempting to carve up a large slice of America's publishing industry between them.
2.) BrE informal to drive past someone in a car and then suddenly move in front of them so that you are too close

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.