un·​furl ˌən-ˈfər(-ə)l How to pronounce unfurl (audio)
unfurled; unfurling; unfurls

transitive verb

: to release from a furled state

intransitive verb

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

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 Considered the world’s largest urban forest, Tijuca National Park unfurls like a green blanket across 40 square kilometers, more than enough space to accommodate Julieta. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2023 But specific, honest writing can help dislodge these oversimplifications and illuminate instead the scores of stories that don’t necessarily unfurl as expected. Ilana Masad, The Atlantic, 20 Nov. 2023 As the event wound down, a group unfurled a long scroll of paper listing more than 8,000 names of Palestinians who protesters said have been killed in the conflict. Laura Meckler, Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2023 Looking west from the dirt parking lot out front unfurled a view of the famous skyline, growing richer every year with new towers disappearing into the fog. Albert Samaha, Rolling Stone, 22 Oct. 2023 Researchers believe unfurling the bots at different times will allow for greater areas of distribution, and at just 25 milliseconds to initiate folding, the timing can be extremely precise. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 13 Sep. 2023 The Valley unfurls below, ensconced in late afternoon haze. Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2023 The horror unfurled on Friday morning at Gambetta-Carnot, a large public school in the city’s center. Aurelien Breeden, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2023 Passages is a movie that unfurls with each scene like a petal peeling back to reveal little despairs and grand desires — the brilliant hues of an adulthood well lived. Vulture, 17 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unfurl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1641, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of unfurl was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near unfurl

Cite this Entry

“Unfurl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfurl. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​furl ˌən-ˈfər(-ə)l How to pronounce unfurl (audio)
: to loose from a furled state : open or spread : unfold
unfurl sails
unfurl a flag

More from Merriam-Webster on unfurl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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