pearl

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: a dense variously colored and usually lustrous concretion formed of concentric layers of mother-of-pearl as an abnormal growth within the shell of some mollusks and used as a gem
2
: one that is very choice or precious
3
: something resembling a pearl intrinsically or physically
4
: a nearly neutral slightly bluish medium gray

pearl

2 of 4

verb

pearled; pearling; pearls

transitive verb

1
: to set or adorn with pearls
2
: to sprinkle or bead with pearly drops
3
: to form into small round grains
4
: to give a pearly color or luster to

intransitive verb

1
: to form drops or beads like pearls
2
: to fish or search for pearls
pearler noun

pearl

3 of 4

adjective

1
a
: of, relating to, or resembling pearl
b
: made of or adorned with pearls
2
: having medium-sized grains
pearl barley

pearl

4 of 4

noun (2)

British
: picot

Examples of pearl in a Sentence

Noun (1) friends who agree that his new bride is a real pearl
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The book was a gift from a family friend and was sent to MGM so it could be embellished with silk, lace and pearls to match Grace’s wedding dress, according to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ariana Quihuiz, Peoplemag, 12 May 2024 Cording added that people with swallowing problems and small children should steer clear of the pearls. Korin Miller, Health, 9 May 2024 The raspberry boba pearls themselves were genuinely good and added an element that took the drink from skippable to worth trying. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 8 May 2024 These drinks—bubble tea, namely—have popularly included tapioca boba pearls for decades. Lauren Phillips, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 May 2024 Breakfast at Tiffany's is the obvious choice: As Holly Golightly, Audrey Hepburn's little black dress, strands of pearls, and oversize sunnies are nothing short of iconic. Ew Staff, EW.com, 7 May 2024 During an interview with La La Anthony on the Vogue livestream, Grande explained the inspiration behind the look and said that mother of pearl happens to be her birthstone, while also relating to her Wicked role. Katie Atkinson, Billboard, 6 May 2024 Highlights included the Tweed Pastel necklace and bracelet, both designed in white gold, diamonds, and cultured pearls. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 6 May 2024 Through the years, Sofia swapped the stones at the top of the palmettes with pearls, turquoise, lighter blue topaz and citrines. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 24 Apr. 2024
Verb
Condensation began to pearl at the edges of his rental face mask, an older model that pressed uncomfortably against his temples. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 9 Feb. 2024 Since bead materials can run the gamut—from glass to pearl to wood and beyond—Korn notes that some bead styles are inherently more casual than others. Aemilia Madden, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 July 2023 Up close, it is coursed with rivulets, beaded and pearled with droplets. Taymour Soomro Scott Conarroe, New York Times, 10 May 2023 The practice of pearling in the Persian Gulf goes back thousands of years, according to the Western Australian Museum. Christopher Parker, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Mar. 2023 Even grains like sorghum and farro may not necessarily be whole since they are frequently pearled. Sophie Egan, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2020 Instagram: @juliaclancy Email: food@sfchronicle.com Fresh-Herb Matzo Ball Soup Serves 4 to 6 Changing water into fat-pearled, herb-laced, deeply fragrant broth was one of the first acts of magic taught to me in cooking. Julia Clancy, SFChronicle.com, 5 Feb. 2020 Then, as the woman convicted of murder reached out her arms, the judge, still in her black robe and pearled necklace, wrapped her in an embrace. Sarah Mervosh, New York Times, 4 Oct. 2019 Barley is sold in a variety of forms: Hulled, hull-less, pearl (pearled), and quick-cooking. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, 30 June 2019
Adjective
The ensemble, as well as her glamorous updo, were somewhat reminiscent of the pearl Schiaparelli dress Kim Kardashian wore to the 2023 Met Gala. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 1 May 2024 The viral latte makeup trend calls for cream bronzer across the lids and bridge of the nose for a monochromatic look, while pearl skin will layer highlighter with bronzer to create a luminous complexion. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 19 Apr. 2024 In 1999, for example, a taxi ferrying two jewelers was forced to stop on the 110 Freeway’s transition to the westbound 105 Freeway by gun-wielding men who stole two suitcases filled with pearl necklaces worth $600,000, The Times reported. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2024 Brayden and his dangly pearl earrings sit down with Charity first. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 4 July 2023 To complete her look, Hilton added black pumps, a black mini bag, and layers of silver and pearl Chanel jewelry. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 3 Oct. 2023 According to the company's online menu, Tiger Sugar also sells black sugar boba with pearl coffee latte and cream mousse, matcha black sugar boba milk with cream mousse, black sugar boba green tea and black sugar boba black tea, along with plent of other options. The Courier-Journal, 9 May 2023 The peach number had floral and pearl embellishments for a statement look that set her apart from the other attendees. Ariana Quihuiz, Peoplemag, 25 Jan. 2023 The Western Style: This has snap buttons that are usually pearl but can be anything from black onyx to turquoise. Brad Lanphear, Men's Health, 23 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pearl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

alteration of purl

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Verb

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

Adjective

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1542, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pearl was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pearl

Cite this Entry

“Pearl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pearl. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

pearl

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: a dense smooth shiny body that is considered a gem and is formed in layers as an abnormal growth in the body of some mollusks usually around something irritating (as a grain of sand) which has gotten into the shell
2
: something like a pearl (as in shape, color, or value)
3
: a light bluish gray

pearl

2 of 2 adjective
1
: of, relating to, or resembling pearl
2
: made of pearls

Medical Definition

pearl

noun
1
: perle
2
: one of the rounded concentric masses of squamous epithelial cells characteristic of certain tumors
3
: a miliary leproma of the iris
4
: a rounded abnormal mass of enamel on a tooth

Geographical Definition

Pearl

geographical name

1
river about 410 miles (660 kilometers) long in southern Mississippi flowing south into the Gulf of Mexico
2
see zhu

More from Merriam-Webster on pearl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!