1

purl

noun \ ˈpər(-ə)l \

Definition of purl

1 : gold or silver thread or wire for embroidering or edging
2 : the intertwisting of thread that knots a stitch usually along an edge

Origin and Etymology of purl

Middle English


2

purl

verb

Definition of purl

purled; purling; purls
1 a : to embroider with gold or silver thread
b : to edge or border with gold or silver embroidery
2 : to knit in purl stitch
: to do knitting in purl stitch

First Known Use of purl

1518

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

3

purl

noun

Definition of purl

1 : a purling or swirling stream or rill
2 : a gentle murmur or movement (as of purling water)

Origin and Etymology of purl

perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian purla to ripple


4

purl

verb

Definition of purl

purled; purling; purls
1 : eddy, swirl
2 : to make a soft murmuring sound like that of a purling stream

First Known Use of purl

circa 1586

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

very hard to disturb or upset

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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