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90s Slang You Should Know


[furl] /fɜrl/
verb (used with object)
to gather into a compact roll and bind securely, as a sail against a spar or a flag against its staff.
verb (used without object)
to become furled.
the act of furling.
something furled, as a roll.
furl in a body, Nautical. to furl (a square sail) with loose canvas gathered at the mast, so as to make a harbor furl.
furl in the bunt, Nautical. to furl (a square sail) by gathering canvas upward, so as to load the yard equally at all points.
Origin of furl
1550-60; compare Middle French ferler in same sense, perhaps representing Old French ferlier to chain, fasten, equivalent to fer firm (< Latin firmus) + lier to bind (< Latin ligāre)
Related forms
furlable, adjective
furler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for furled
Historical Examples
  • She had furled every thing but the close-reefed main-topsail, and reefed foresail.

  • Night came on with the breeze freshening, and the top-gallant-sail was furled.

    Down the Rhine Oliver Optic
  • Soon Alison furled her umbrella and pointed to the Flamp, who was smiling and chuckling and soliloquising in the distance.

  • Their use is to make the sail fast to the yard when it is to be furled.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • My greatest concern had been lest some of the sails should get adrift, for they had been furled by few and fatigued men.

    Miles Wallingford James Fenimore Cooper
  • Colors are said to be cased when furled and protected by the oil cloth covering.

  • Her sail was furled, she looked taut and trim, and he could discern a figure at her prow which raised its arms and again hallooed.

    Dorothy's Travels Evelyn Raymond
  • When the sail was furled the ship began to roll a good deal.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • The declining sun stained spars and furled sails to a rosy tint above the green water.

    Brothers of Peril Theodore Goodridge Roberts
  • Never yet furled I my colours in peace; and I were double craven if I should do it in war!

    The White Rose of Langley Emily Sarah Holt
British Dictionary definitions for furled


to roll up (an umbrella, a flag, etc) neatly and securely or (of an umbrella, flag, etc) to be rolled up in this way
(transitive) (nautical) to gather in (a square sail)
the act or an instance of furling
a single rolled-up section
Derived Forms
furlable, adjective
furler, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French ferlier to bind tightly, from ferm tight (from Latin firmusfirm1) + lier to tie, bind, from Latin ligāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for furled



1550s, of uncertain origin, possibly from Middle French ferler "to furl," from Old French ferliier "chain, tie up, lock away," perhaps from fer "firm" (from Latin firmus; see firm (adj.)) + -lier "to bind" (from Latin ligare). Related: Furled; furling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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