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 Pearl (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 Even grains like sorghum and farro may not necessarily be whole since they are frequently pearled. Sophie Egan, New York Times, "What Should I Look for When Buying Whole Grains?," 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, "Necessary chicken soup: one method, three recipes," 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, "Amber Guyger’s Judge Gave Her a Bible and a Hug. Did That Cross a Line?," 4 Oct. 2019 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 The pearl-white hull has been engineered to minimize drag and maximize efficiency. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, "This New Fuel-Efficient Hybrid Superyacht Was Designed to Reduce Boating Emissions," 26 Feb. 2021 That would officially make this our 12th anniversary, traditionally pearl, but Brian never cast pearls before wine. Kevin Fisher-paulson, SFChronicle.com, "After 35 years together, love and laughter keep us going," 22 Sep. 2020 Metallic and pearl paint colors will cost $400 extra. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2021 Genesis G80 Starts under $50K, Goes Up to Nearly $70K," 19 May 2020 Annie, Brenda, Elise, and Cynthia (Stockard Channing) are graduating from college, and exchange promises (and pearl necklaces) to be friends forever. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "The First Wives Club," 2 Apr. 2020 On land there were hikes to waterfalls and visits to pearl farms and villages. Stephanie Wu, Condé Nast Traveler, "A New Yacht Lets Divers Explore Raja Ampat in Style," 27 Mar. 2020 Mejuri’s inventory is filled with 14K gold rings, dainty diamond stud earrings, and even pearl goods that would make Harry Styles do a double-take at its fair prices. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Gets Her Go-To Gold Jewelry From Mejuri," 12 Mar. 2020 Check out the gallery below for pearl headbands that will elevate your look for less than $30. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Get Gabrielle Union’s Romantic Paris Fashion Week Hair With These Pearl Headbands," 22 Jan. 2020 Those with an alliance to the Rebellion might prefer this pair of mother of pearl cuff links featuring the rebels’ logo. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "9 Gifts for the Friend Who Travels to Disney at Least Once a Year," 17 Dec. 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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Learn More about pearl

Time Traveler for pearl Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pearl

Cite this Entry

“Pearl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pearl. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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