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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
pearl1 /pɝl/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
adj. [before a noun]
- Invertebrates[countable] a smooth, rounded bead, formed within the shells of oysters, valued as a gem.
- Jewelry[countable] something resembling this, as in costume jewelry.
- something precious or choice[countable]pearls of wisdom.
- [uncountable] a pale gray, often with a bluish tinge.
pearl•y, adj., -i•er, -i•est.
- of or resembling a pearl.
- Invertebrates, Jewelrya smooth, rounded bead formed within the shells of certain mollusks and composed of the mineral aragonite or calcite in a matrix, deposited in concentric layers as a protective coating around an irritating foreign object: valued as a gem when lustrous and finely colored. Cf.cultured pearl.
- Jewelrysomething resembling this, as various synthetic substances for use in costume jewelry.
- something similar in form, luster, etc., as a dewdrop or a capsule of medicine.
- something precious or choice;
the finest example of anything:pearls of wisdom.
- a very pale gray approaching white but commonly with a bluish tinge.
- Jewelrymother-of-pearl:a pearl-handled revolver.
- Printing[Print.]a 5-point type.
- PathologyAlso called epithelial pearl. [Pathol.]a rounded mass of keratin occurring in certain carcinomas of the skin.
- Idiomscast pearls before swine, to offer or give something of great value to those incapable of appreciating it:She read them Shakespeare but it was casting pearls before swine.
- to adorn or stud with or as with pearls.
- to make like pearls, as in form or color.
- to dive, fish, or search for pearls.
- to assume a pearllike form or appearance.
- resembling a pearl in form or color.
- of or pertaining to pearls:pearl diving.
- Jewelryset with a pearl or pearls or covered or inlaid with pearls or mother-of-pearl:a pearl necklace.
- having or reduced to small, rounded grains.
(pûrl), v.t., v.i., n.
- Italian or assumed Vulgar Latin *perla ( German Perle, Old English pærl), for Latin *pernula ( Portuguese perola, perh. Old Saxon përula), diminutive of Latin perna sea mussel
- Middle French
- Middle English perle 1300–50
- Place Namesa town in central Mississippi. 20,778.
- a female given name.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
pearl /pɜːl/ n
- a hard smooth lustrous typically rounded structure occurring on the inner surface of the shell of a clam or oyster: consists of calcium carbonate secreted in layers around an invading particle such as a sand grain; much valued as a gem
- any artificial gem resembling this
- See mother-of-pearl
- a person or thing that is like a pearl, esp in beauty or value
- a pale greyish-white colour, often with a bluish tinge
- of, made of, or set with pearl or mother-of-pearl
- having the shape or colour of a pearl
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin pernula (unattested), from Latin perna sea mussel
- (transitive) to set with or as if with pearls
- to shape into or assume a pearl-like form or colour
- (intransitive) to dive or search for pearls
pearl /pɜːl/ n , vb
- a variant spelling of purl1, purl1, purl1