pearl

noun (1)
\ ˈpər(-ə)l How to pronounce pearl (audio) \

Definition of pearl

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : 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

verb
pearled; pearling; pearls

Definition of pearl (Entry 2 of 5)

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

pearl

adjective

Definition of pearl (Entry 3 of 5)

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

pearl

noun (2)

Definition of pearl (Entry 4 of 5)

British
: picot

Pearl

geographical name
\ ˈpər(-ə)l How to pronounce Pearl (audio) \

Definition of Pearl (Entry 5 of 5)

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

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Other Words from pearl

Verb

pearler \ ˈpər-​lər How to pronounce pearler (audio) \ noun

Examples of pearl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The tiara boasts 19 diamond arches, with pearls dangling from each embellished curve. Michelle Darrisaw, Southern Living, "Kate Middleton Was Just Spotted Wearing the Perfect Royal Accessory—Princess Diana’s Tiara," 14 July 2017 The diamond and pearl Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, as Vanity Fair notes, was a wedding gift to Princess Diana and known to be one of Diana's favorite pieces. Melissa Minton, Glamour, "Kate Middleton Wears Princess Diana's Favorite Tiara for State Banquet," 13 July 2017 They're then topped with purple icing, covered in sprinkles with purple and white edible pearls, and topped off with a fondant mermaid tale. Danielle Tullo, Cosmopolitan, "These Mermaid Cupcakes Are Pure Magic," 21 June 2017 Usually, the hot season is met with a certain amount of pearl-clutching disbelief by people outside of Arizona. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "It’s so hot in Phoenix that airplanes can’t fly," 20 June 2017 Quick-cooking pearl barley is a flake that has been partially cooked and dried for quick cooking, similar to instant oatmeal. Jill Wendholt Silva, kansascity.com, "Barley, Leek and Asparagus Skillet melds delicate flavors well," 5 July 2017 Sneakers made by Eytys, sunglasses by Carerra, and lots of jewelry in 18k gold and sterling silver with mother of pearl crosses. Noah Johnson, GQ, "Justin O’Shea Debuts SSS World Corp With a Guerrilla Fashion Show in the Streets of Paris," 24 June 2017 The Duchess of Cambridge stepped to the Royal Ascot today elegantly donning a white lace dress by Alexander McQueen, paired with a matching fascinator and pearl drop earrings. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Stuns in White Lace at the Royal Ascot," 20 June 2017 The clock, plated in mother of pearl, 18K white gold and crystal, also is diamond- and sapphire-encrusted and is referred to on the dealer’s website as the Asprey & Co. Mystery Clock. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Reward offered for $425K diamond-encrusted clock stolen last month," 20 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Whole grain: Choose from quinoa, emmer farro, einkorn, spelt, whole-grain sorghum (as opposed to pearled), whole-grain barley (again, not pearled), bulgur wheat, freekeh, Kamut wheat, brown rice, black rice, red rice and wild rice. Carrie Dennett, The Seattle Times, "Grain bowls are trending. Here’s how to make your own.," 28 Nov. 2018 This twist on risotto uses pearled barley instead of Arborio rice for a healthier dish. Country Living, "Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash," 20 July 2012 But each version retains its handcrafted hallmarks: supple leather; saddle stitching; and hardware that’s undergone pearling, a technique that polishes and smooths it to glossy perfection. Kimberly Chrisman-campbell, WSJ, "Fall’s A-List Accessory: A Kelly Bag With a Twist," 31 Aug. 2017 The hour markers were pearled, and milled into the champagne dial to pick up its brass hue. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "Confessions of a Watch Geek," 20 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The singer/heartthrob wore pearl earrings, a sheer blouse, and high heels. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jared Leto Carried His Own Head on the Met Gala Red Carpet," 6 May 2019 The chronology, which takes nine-tenths of a mile to unfold, highlights the region’s geological formation, natural habitats, Bedouin culture, and early coastal settlements and their pearl trade. Julie Lasky, ELLE Decor, "ED First Look: The National Museum of Qatar," 26 Mar. 2019 Large pearl earrings and mounds of crystal rings finished off the outfit with sparkles galore. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kylie Jenner’s First Holiday Party Look Is Here," 22 Dec. 2018 Standing in a semicircle surrounding Franklin’s family, the women filed in for nearly 10 minutes wearing black dresses, pearl necklaces, and corsages of African violets, the sorority’s official flower. Errin Haines Whack, The Seattle Times, "Delta Sigma Theta pays tribute to soror, the Queen of Soul," 28 Aug. 2018 Continuing their first royal tour as a couple, Meghan and Harry were warmly welcomed into Fiji, with the Duchess stunning the crowd by wearing a gorgeous, pearl white Zimmermann dress. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Toasts with Water, While Prince Harry Samples 'Narcotic' Delicacy Kava," 23 Oct. 2018 To mark her first visit as a royal patron of the museum, Kate wore an Erdem tweed dress (that's now sold out) and pearl earrings from the fashion house. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore an Off-the-Shoulder Tweed Dress by Erdem to the Victoria and Albert Museum," 10 Oct. 2018 The Duchess accessorized her bespoke Catherine Walker look with what People reports were pearl drop earrings borrowed from the monarch's collection. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Kate Middleton Borrowed Queen Elizabeth II's Earrings in Scotland," 28 Aug. 2018 Among the options is adaptive front lighting on the XSE ($415), blizzard pearl white paint ($395) and an SE preferred package with upgraded audio, information and app services and blind-spot monitor for $1,400. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "2019 Toyota Corolla five-door brings latest safety tech to the masses," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pearl.' 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 pearl

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

History and Etymology for pearl

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

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Time Traveler for pearl

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

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More Definitions for pearl

pearl

noun
\ ˈpərl How to pronounce pearl (audio) \

Kids Definition of pearl

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

pearl

noun
\ ˈpərl How to pronounce pearl (audio) \

Medical Definition of pearl

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on pearl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pearl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pearl

Spanish Central: Translation of pearl

Nglish: Translation of pearl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pearl for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pearl

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