un·​furl | \ ˌən-ˈfər(-ə)l How to pronounce unfurl (audio) \
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 For the fourth straight year, the Madison County Commission unfurled a giant American flag from the roof on the north side of the nine-floor courthouse. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, "Madison County unfurls giant flag to mark Veterans Day," 8 Nov. 2019 Throughout Alaska’s university system, responses to the accreditor’s letter are unfurling this week as fall semester pushes into October and heated restructuring discussions continue for UA and its three universities in response to budget cuts. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Some Alaska faculty say accreditor’s letter to UA validates their concerns, others say it’s too vague," 2 Oct. 2019 Activists staged protests Monday outside the U.N., with some unfurling colorful banners criticizing the involvement of oil companies. Los Angeles Times, "Greta Thunberg admonishes leaders as U.N. climate summit fails to deliver action," 23 Sep. 2019 The bottom edges unfurl according to their own organic nature, so each piece is individual. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "These One-of-a-Kind Algae Lamps Are That Unique Touch Every House Needs," 22 Sep. 2019 One protester unfurled a colonial-era flag; another painted over the part of Hong Kong’s official title which describes it as being part of the People’s Republic of China. The Economist, "Protesters expose a fractured Hong Kong, but China’s grip only tightens," 5 July 2019 The same week that the Trump administration announced that LGBTQ pride flags could not be flown outside U.S. embassies, the city of Waukegan unfurled a rainbow flag outside City Hall. Dan Moran, Lake County News-Sun, "Moran: Waukegan makes 'such a powerful statement' by hosting first celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month," 14 June 2019 As the valedictorian of Miami Palmetto Senior High School’s class of 1982, Bezos used his graduation speech to unfurl his vision for humanity. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan," 10 Oct. 2019 Abu Tiba’s group parked more than a mile from the protests and unfurled its tribal flag. New York Times, "‘Our Patience Is Over’: Why Iraqis Are Protesting," 20 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for unfurl

Time Traveler

The first known use of unfurl was in 1641

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Statistics for unfurl

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unfurl.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfurl. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for unfurl


How to pronounce unfurl (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unfurl

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


un·​furl | \ ˌən-ˈfərl How to pronounce unfurl (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unfurl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unfurl

Spanish Central: Translation of unfurl

Nglish: Translation of unfurl for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unfurl

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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