\ˈpər-lē \
pearlier; pearliest

Definition of pearly 

1 : resembling, containing, or adorned with pearls or mother-of-pearl

2 : highly precious

Examples of pearly in a Sentence

Her teeth were pearly white.

Recent Examples on the Web

There are three shades: pearly Morning Dew, lightly copper Hot Water, and Clear. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "This 'Glass Highlighter' Gives Your Skin the Most Natural Glow," 29 Oct. 2018 Step 2: Add a vampy mauve shade around the outer corners of your lids for a bit of ~drama~. Get help with your pink smokey eye from this tutorial: Step 3: Use a pearly hue to highlight your cheekbones, forehead, nose, cupid's bow, and chin. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "5 Snapchat Filter Halloween Costumes You Should Rock IRL," 8 Aug. 2018 The shades in the peachy neutral Heat Stroke quad are intriguingly and freely named: Sandy Crotch (pearly orange), Brash (pinkish brick), Mabuhay (peachy brown), and Ruddy (golden red). Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Who’s Ready for ‘Sandy Crotch’ Eye Shadow?," 31 May 2018 Over the years, as millions of tourists have flocked to the Taj Mahal in northern India, the monument’s appearance has deteriorated, its pearly white facade growing dull and the dirt from barefoot visitors blackening the grounds. New York Times, "Green Slime on the Taj Mahal? Court Blames Slow, Botched Cleanup," 9 May 2018 Auto emissions, deforestation and crop burning have contributed to heavy smog that experts say has dimmed the tomb's pearly exterior to a jaundiced yellow. Shashank Bengali,, "How air pollution, a dying river and swarms of defecating insects threaten the Taj Mahal," 22 May 2018 Lastly, Priscilla highlighted Rihanna's cheekbones with a touch of pearly beige Killawatt, and set the entire look with some matte setting powder for a flawless finish. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna Wears Glowy Makeup and Red Lipstick to Ocean’s 8 London Premiere," 14 June 2018 One pendant/chandelier from Arteriors looks like a dangling cluster of pearly grapes. Diane Cowen, Houston Chronicle, "Arteriors new collection remains current, edgy," 13 June 2018 Wind and cool weather slowed melting, and a lot of snow is still in draws and in the trees and the mountains are pearly white. Seth Kantner, Anchorage Daily News, "We’re failing in our relationship with nature – and with each other," 9 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for pearly

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for pearly

The first known use of pearly was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of pearly

: having the shiny, white color of pearls


\ˈpər-lē \
pearlier; pearliest

Kids Definition of pearly

: resembling a pearl in color, shape, or luster Small pearly clouds drifted … overhead.— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie

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More from Merriam-Webster on pearly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pearly

Spanish Central: Translation of pearly

Nglish: Translation of pearly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pearly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pearly

What made you want to look up pearly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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