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

Barley is sold in a variety of forms: Hulled, hull-less, pearl (pearled), and quick-cooking. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "This nutritious grain provides cholesterol lowering fiber in this summer salad," 30 June 2019 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

Any automotive shop that has repaired a white or pearl white vehicle with front-end damage, specifically on the passenger side hood, quarter panel or windshield from Oct. 28, 2018 to present is asked to come forward. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Police want help solving fatal 2018 hit and run," 21 Aug. 2019 Paterson shot the series during practices, games, and tournaments, carefully treading onto the ice as players whizzed by, braids flying and pearl studs gleaming in their ears. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "The Importance of Photographing Women in Sports," 26 June 2019 Founded in 1992, Sharetea began as a to-go black tea and pearl milk tea business in Taipei, Taiwan. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "Sip, sip, enjoy! Sharetea opens first bubble tea shop on Bardstown Road," 9 Aug. 2019 Because of this processing, pearl barley is not considered a true whole grain. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "This nutritious grain provides cholesterol lowering fiber in this summer salad," 30 June 2019 Using 130 meters of silk, the gown features a 66-foot veil and train, embroidered with 60,000 crystals and mother of pearl teardrops, the gown was spectacular. Peter Mikelbank, PEOPLE.com, "A 66-Foot Veil and an Eagles Concert! Revisit Prince Albert, Princess Charlene’s 2011 Royal Wedding," 1 July 2019 The resident later discovered $500 in cash missing from three different areas of the home, and two pearl necklaces missing from a jewelry box, police said. chicagotribune.com, "Niles police: Cash, jewelry stolen from home after man visits, offers to buy firewood," 25 June 2019 In contrast with her flowing silver waves, Myricks coated Aina's lips in an unreal gold-foil finish, picking up on the golden grids and dots on her long, pearl-white nails. Marci Robin, Allure, "Jackie Aina's Essence Digital Cover Is an Ethereal Dream Come True for Fans," 6 June 2019 Although the same piece, it was styled very differently to Kate's appearance, with the Duchess of Kent opted for a statement headpiece, pearl necklaces, and casual sneakers with her own Erdem. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton's Floral Erdem Dress Is a Royal Family Favorite," 21 May 2019

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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