un·​furl | \ˌən-ˈfər(-ə)l \
unfurled; unfurling; unfurls

Definition of unfurl 

transitive verb

: to release from a furled state

intransitive verb

: to open out from or as if from a furled state : unfold

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Examples of unfurl in a Sentence

after the protestors had unfurled their banner, it stretched from one side of the visitors' gallery to the other

Recent Examples on the Web

In the distance, rolling hills of grass and sage unfurl to the horizon. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "The New Outdoor Getaway: Landscapes That Have Been ‘Rewilded’," 20 Sep. 2018 At the Palace, her 90-minute set unfurled in a cacophony of shrieks, swoops, volcanic eruptions on her piano that sometimes involved her arms, and yes, even soulful croons. James Reed, latimes.com, "Swoops, shrieks and croons: Diamanda Galás transfixes at Palace Theatre," 27 Apr. 2018 On Tuesday evening, elected officials and dozens of community members held a vigil in the park, near where the group had unfurled the banner. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "White Nationalists Rally in Liberal New York City," 31 July 2018 Last year, Egyptian police arrested dozens after fans unfurled a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo by a Lebanese band whose lead singer is openly gay. Washington Post, "Lebanon LGBT scene empowered despite crackdown," 29 May 2018 On that earlier occasion, the chute unfurled at an altitude of 26 miles (42 km), while ASPIRE was traveling at 1.8 times the speed of sound, NASA officials have said. Mike Wall, Space.com, "NASA Rocket Launches Supersonic Mars Parachute in Key Test," 1 Apr. 2018 Straight ahead, a ribbon of stately buildings unfurled along the river's curve, announcing the heart of the city. Molly Wizenberg, Town & Country, "Vintage Bordeaux," 14 Jan. 2013 The parachute unfurled shortly thereafter, while ASPIRE was traveling significantly faster than the speed of sound. Mike Wall, Space.com, "NASA Rocket Launches Supersonic Mars Parachute in Key Test," 1 Apr. 2018 The design, much larger than its predecessor Hubble Space Telescope, is intended to capture infrared light behind a complex sunshade that unfurls to the size of a tennis court. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "NASA Delays James Webb Space Telescope By About a Year," 27 Mar. 2018

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

1641, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for unfurl

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unfurl

The first known use of unfurl was in 1641

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More Definitions for unfurl



English Language Learners Definition of unfurl

: to cause (something that is folded or rolled up) to open


un·​furl | \ˌən-ˈfərl \
unfurled; unfurling

Kids Definition of unfurl

: to open out from a rolled or folded state unfurl a flag

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More from Merriam-Webster on unfurl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unfurl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unfurl

Spanish Central: Translation of unfurl

Nglish: Translation of unfurl for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unfurl

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living or existing for a long time

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