- a small knot or lump in wool, thread, or cloth.
- a dome-shaped growth on the trunk of a tree; a wartlike structure sometimes 2 feet (0.6 meters) across and 1 foot (0.3 meters) or more in height, sliced to make veneer.
- to remove burls from (cloth) in finishing.
Origin of burl
1400–50; late Middle English burle ≪ Old French; akin to Medieval Latin burla bunch, sheaf, Late Latin burra wool, fluff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for burl
Scouting Report: Size-wise, Bob Costas (Syracuse '74) is clearly the underdog next to Oscar-winner Burl "Big Daddy" Ives.March Madness: Which Celebrity Alumni Will Win?
March 17, 2011
"Dat's de cretor's music, an' dem's de cretor's capers," replied Burl.
Just look up yonder, Burl, and see how the crows have gone to fighting.
Burl a-plowin' in de fiel', A-singin' fur de roasin'-ear to come.
Burl a-plowin' in de fiel', A-singin' fur de johnny-cake to come.
Therefore did the magnanimous Burl dismantle himself at once.
- a small knot or lump in wool
- a roundish warty outgrowth from the trunk, roots, or branches of certain trees
- (tr) to remove the burls from (cloth)
C15: from Old French burle tuft of wool, probably ultimately from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth
- Scot, Australian and NZ an attempt; try (esp in the phrase give it a burl)
- Australian and NZ a ride in a car
C20: perhaps from birl 1 in the Scot sense: a twist or turn
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
Word Origin and History for burl
"small knot in wool or cloth," mid-15c., from Old French bourle "tuft of wool," which perhaps is related to the root of bur, or from Vulgar Latin *burrula "small flock of wool," from Late Latin burra "wool."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A large, rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree. Burls develop from one or more twig buds whose cells continue to multiply but never differentiate so that the twig can elongate into a limb. Burls do not usually cause harm to trees.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.