Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

pearl

play
noun \ˈpər(-ə)l\

Definition of pearl

  1. 1 a :  a dense variously colored and usually lustrous concretion formed of concentric layers of nacre as an abnormal growth within the shell of some mollusks and used as a gem b :  mother-of-pearl

  2. 2 :  one that is very choice or precious

  3. 3 :  something resembling a pearl intrinsically or physically

  4. 4 :  a nearly neutral slightly bluish medium gray



Examples of pearl in a sentence

  1. She wore a string of pearls.

  2. Pearls of dew glistened on the grass.



Origin and Etymology of pearl

Middle English perle, from Anglo-French, probably from Vulgar Latin *pernula, diminutive of Latin perna upper leg, kind of sea mussel; akin to Old English fiersn heel, Greek pternē


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Jewelry Terms


2

pearl

verb

Definition of pearl

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to set or adorn with pearls

  3. 2 :  to sprinkle or bead with pearly drops

  4. 3 :  to form into small round grains

  5. 4 :  to give a pearly color or luster to

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to form drops or beads like pearls

  8. 2 :  to fish or search for pearls

pearler

play \ˈpər-lər\ noun


14th Century

First Known Use of pearl

14th century


3

pearl

adjective

Definition of pearl

  1. 1 a :  of, relating to, or resembling pearl b :  made of or adorned with pearls

  2. 2 :  having medium-sized grains <pearl barley>



1610

First Known Use of pearl

1610

Other Jewelry Terms


4

pearl

noun or transitive verb

Definition of pearl

British

  1. :  picot



Origin and Etymology of pearl

alteration of purl


First Known Use: 1824

Rhymes with pearl


Pearl

play
geographical name \ˈpər(-ə)l\

Definition of Pearl

  1. 1 river ab 410 miles (660 kilometers) S Mississippi flowing S into Gulf of Mexico

  2. 2 — see zhu



Rhymes with pearl



PEARL Defined for Kids

pearl

play
noun \ˈpərl\

Definition of pearl for Students

  1. 1 :  a smooth rounded shiny usually white body that is formed within the shell of some mollusks (as oysters) usually around an irritating particle which has gotten into the shell

  2. 2 :  mother-of-pearl

  3. 3 :  something like a pearl in shape, color, or value




Medical Dictionary

pearl

play
noun \ˈpərl\

Medical Definition of pearl

  1. 1:  perle

  2. 2:  one of the rounded concentric masses of squamous epithelial cells characteristic of certain tumors

  3. 3:  a miliary leproma of the iris

  4. 4:  a rounded abnormal mass of enamel on a tooth





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pearl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a representation of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy philistine melancholy frenetic
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ