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

In a speech to the nation last week marking 71 years of independence from Britain, Mr. Modi unfurled an expansive populist vision. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Modi Abandons Reform for Populist Nostrums," 23 Aug. 2018 Linemen Duane Brown and Quinton Jefferson walked off the field and waited in the tunnel while a field-sized American flag was unfurled and the national anthem played before their season opener Sunday in Denver. Eddie Pells, The Seattle Times, "Only a handful take action during anthem on NFL’s 1st Sunday," 10 Sep. 2018 Every senator, representative, lobbyist and aide — including many historical figures — arrives with a résumé that gets dutifully unfurled over the ever-dwindling action, mostly meetings, hearings and poker games. The Washington Post, latimes.com, "Jake Tapper's thrilling, uneven McCarthy-era Washington drama, 'The Hellfire Club'," 4 May 2018 Protesters unfurled banners inside the Hart [Senate office] building Thursday as others staged a sit-in, wrapping themselves in shiny, silver space blankets . . . James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Abortion is already emerging as a top issue in the midterms with Supreme Court vacancy," 29 June 2018 The camera swirls, the pages ruffle and the streets of London unfurl to reveal illustrated lamps and paper cars. Teo Bugbee, New York Times, "Review: Excellence Pursued in ‘Paddington 2’," 10 Jan. 2018 The banners are being unfurled with just days to go until the first anniversary of the June 2017 blaze. Fox News, "Banners unveiled atop charred remains of Grenfell Tower," 7 June 2018 To harvest, snip the microgreens right above the soil line when their first true leaves unfurl (about seven to 14 days after germination, depending on the green). Willi Evans Galloway, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Microgreens Indoors at Home," 22 Aug. 2018 After a three-year reprieve, Savage returns to test myths, unfurl duct tape, and get up to the tomfoolery that made fans love the original Mythbusters so much. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Adam Savage Is Back to Bust More Myths—This Time with Six Brilliant Kids," 2 Jan. 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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Statistics for unfurl

Last Updated

4 Apr 2019

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 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

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

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 persuaded, moved, or stopped

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