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90s Slang You Should Know


[uhn-furl] /ʌnˈfɜrl/
verb (used with object)
to spread or shake out from a furled state, as a sail or a flag; unfold.
verb (used without object)
to become unfurled.
Origin of unfurl
First recorded in 1635-45; un-2 + furl
Related forms
unfurlable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unfurling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It will be prudent to go in search of that somewhere else now," said Willis, unfurling the sails.

    Willis the Pilot Johanna Spyri
  • "I do not see it, sir," said the admiral, unfurling a handkerchief like a challenge flag.

    A Mock Idyl Percy Ross
  • The long ribbon fluttered in the air, furling and unfurling it gracefully descended.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • She had taken the fan from him, and was furling and unfurling it.

    The Literary Sense E. Nesbit
  • A great wave, unfurling like a billow, swept up the bank and broke against the walls of the cottage.

    The Underground City Jules Verne
  • Rattleton set about unfurling the sails and getting them ready for hoisting.

    Frank Merriwell's Alarm Burt L. Standish
  • The Duke of Athole performed the ceremony of unfurling the banner.

    Bonnie Prince Charlie G. A. Henty
  • He comes with ladys-tresses, pussy willows, and unfurling lily pads.

    Minstrel Weather Marian Storm
  • She raises her large soft eyes to his and, unfurling her fan, lays it thoughtfully against her pretty lips.

    Airy Fairy Lilian Margaret Wolfe Hamilton (AKA Duchess)
British Dictionary definitions for unfurling


to unroll, unfold, or spread out or be unrolled, unfolded, or spread out from a furled state
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 unfurling



1640s, from un- (2) "opposite of" + furl (v.). Related: unfurled, unfurling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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