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[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
  • The Duke of Athole performed the ceremony of unfurling the banner.

    Bonnie Prince Charlie G. A. Henty
  • "I do not see it, sir," said the admiral, unfurling a handkerchief like a challenge flag.

    A Mock Idyl

    Percy Ross
  • She had taken the fan from him, and was furling and unfurling it.

    The Literary Sense E. Nesbit
  • He smiled back at her, shaking his head slightly and unfurling the fan.

    Unfinished Portraits Jennette Lee
  • Rattleton set about unfurling the sails and getting them ready for hoisting.

    Frank Merriwell's Alarm Burt L. Standish
  • He comes with ladys-tresses, pussy willows, and unfurling lily pads.

    Minstrel Weather Marian Storm
  • The schooner, meanwhile, had taken in her anchor and was unfurling her sails.

    The Texan Scouts

    Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Great enthusiasm was shown at the unfurling of a banner on which blocks of stone in an arch typified the fifteen Southern States.

  • Noons were hot, and nights were chill; bird carols were infrequent; chrysanthemums were unfurling their buds.

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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