curl

verb
\ ˈkər(-ə)l How to pronounce curl (audio) \
curled; curling; curls

Definition of curl

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to form into coils or ringlets curl one's hair
2 : to form into a curved shape : twist curled his lip in a sneer
3 : to furnish with curls

intransitive verb

1a : to grow in coils or spirals
b : to form ripples or crinkles bacon curling in a pan
2 : to move or progress in curves or spirals : wind the path curled along the mountainside
3 : twist, contort
4 : to play the game of curling

curl

noun

Definition of curl (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a lock of hair that coils : ringlet
2 : something having a spiral or winding form : coil
3 : the action of curling : the state of being curled
4 : a curved or spiral marking in the grain of wood
5 : a hollow arch of water formed when the crest of a breaking wave spills forward
6 : a usually short pass pattern in football in which a receiver runs downfield and then curves back toward the line of scrimmage
7 : a body-building exercise in which a weight held with the palms facing up is raised and lowered by flexing only the wrists or elbows

Curl

biographical name
\ ˈkər(-ə)l How to pronounce Curl (audio) \

Definition of Curl (Entry 3 of 3)

Robert Floyd 1933–     American chemist

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Synonyms for curl

Synonyms: Verb

coil, corkscrew, entwine, spiral, twine, twist, wind

Synonyms: Noun

frizz, frizzle, ringlet

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Examples of curl in a Sentence

Verb

She curls her hair every morning. Can you curl your tongue? The baby's fingers were tightly curled. The snake curled itself around its prey. The cat curled into a ball and went to sleep. We saw smoke curling from the cottage chimney. A snake curled around his leg.

Noun

Her daughter has cute blonde curls. She likes to wear her hair in curls. The conditioner will help you keep the curl of your hair. His hair has a natural curl. He did 12 wrist curls.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Experts like to curl lashes before makeup, as part of skin-care prep. Talia Abbas, SELF, "13 Mistakes You’re Making When Using an Eyelash Curler," 30 Jan. 2019 Smoke was indeed curling from the interior of a 1978 Buick Opel named Suzie. Jason Nark, Philly.com, "Destined for the junkyard, beloved lemons hit the South Jersey track," 11 May 2018 Photo: Nicole Johnson This holiday season, Mr. Johnson curled his facial hair into doughnut shapes on the sides of his face. Thomas Vinciguerra, WSJ, "The Perils of Christmas Beard Decorations: ‘The Lights Got Tangled Up in My Shirt’," 21 Dec. 2018 Lashes were extended and volumized with Victoria's Secret Major Lashes Full Volume Mascara ($14) and curled with Charlotte Tilbury's Eyelash Curler ($22). Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Charlotte Tilbury Shared the Makeup Used in This Year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show," 8 Nov. 2018 The mom of twins kept her beauty look natural, with flowing, slightly curled, impossibly bouncy hair, a touch of blush and a light pink lip. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amal Clooney's Polka Dot Skirt Suit Is Exactly What We Need Today," 27 Sep. 2018 For control: Use cutworm collars on transplants Delay planting Hand-pick cutworms curled below soil surface 5. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 2018 Jose Altuve curled a two-out double inside the left field line in the first. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros rough up White Sox again to reach 60 wins," 8 July 2018 Greenberg curled Cuoco’s lashes with the Surratt Beauty’s Relevée Lash Curler before applying Burt’s Bees Nourishing Mascara in black on both Cuoco’s top and bottom lashes. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "How Kaley Cuoco Achieved Her 'Effortless and Natural’ Wedding Day Look — All the Details!," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These expert tips will help make your curls really pop. 1. SELF, "7 Ways to Look Flawless While Transitioning to Natural Hair," 30 Dec. 2018 The calorie count alone is enough to make your hair curl, and looking back, opting to consume one was an act of rebellion all its own. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Love Letter to The Fat Sandwich, New Jersey's Delicious (and Caloric) Claim to Fame," 1 Oct. 2018 The boys were resplendent in starched white shirt and gloves; the girls wore long white ruffled dresses and wreaths of flowers atop their curls. Maureen Orth, Town & Country, "Inside Cartagena," 11 Jan. 2013 Heather Budd, who curls, and whose sister curls, and also her brother, and her parents, and her grandparents, fielded several curling questions from curling neophytes alongside her fiance, Drew Harden, both from Woodville, Ontario. Chuck Culpepper, Anchorage Daily News, "Curling fan etiquette 101: Babies, yes. Music, no. Mumbling, yes. Chanting, no.," 16 Feb. 2018 The latest issue of V Magazine features Selena Gomez looking absolutely gorgeous, rocking luscious curls and, a cowgirl hat, and flowers all over. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez Rocks A Gorge New Look On The Cover Of V Magazine!," 17 Feb. 2015 Spray a bunch in and scrunch the hair with your hands or dry with a diffuser for lots of kinky fun curl. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "Shop Every Beauty Product Drew Barrymore Swears By," 24 May 2018 There was Yara Shahidi's soft rosy lids and voluminous curls, Laura Harrier's fuschia frock and matching magenta pout, and across the carpet, Lady Gaga swiped on a goth noir lipstick to offset her angelic white gown. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Looks From the 2019 SAG Awards," 28 Jan. 2019 And in the middle, near a pile of videotapes, an old TV and bags of cheese curls, a person. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "At River to River Festival, Dancing Amid the Mundane and Majestic," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of curl

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for curl

Verb

Middle English, from crul curly, probably from Middle Dutch; akin to Old High German krol curly

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Learn More about curl

Dictionary Entries near curl

curite

Curitiba

curium

curl

Curl

curl cloud

curled cress

Statistics for curl

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for curl

The first known use of curl was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for curl

curl

verb

English Language Learners Definition of curl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to twist or form (something) into a round or curved shape
: to become curved or rounded
: to move in curves or circles

curl

noun

English Language Learners Definition of curl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a piece of hair that is formed into a round shape
: the ability of hair to form curls
: something that is curved or has a round shape

curl

verb
\ ˈkərl How to pronounce curl (audio) \
curled; curling

Kids Definition of curl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to twist or form into ringlets curl hair
2 : to take or move in a curved form Smoke was curling from the chimney.
curl up
: to arrange the body into a ball You would come into a room, and he might be curled up in a chair, but you wouldn't see him.— E. B. White, Stuart Little

curl

noun

Kids Definition of curl (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a lock of hair that coils : ringlet
2 : something having a spiral or winding form : coil a curl of smoke

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More from Merriam-Webster on curl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with curl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for curl

Spanish Central: Translation of curl

Nglish: Translation of curl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of curl for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about curl

Comments on curl

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