View synonyms for curl


[ kurl ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to form into coils or ringlets, as the hair.
  2. to form into a spiral or curved shape; coil.
  3. to adorn with, or as with, curls or ringlets.

verb (used without object)

  1. to grow in or form curls or ringlets, as the hair.
  2. to become curved or undulated.
  3. to coil.
  4. to play at the game of curling.
  5. to progress in a curving direction or path; move in a curving or spiraling way:

    The ball curled toward the plate.


  1. a coil or ringlet of hair.
  2. anything of a spiral or curved shape, as a lettuce leaf, wood shaving, etc.
  3. a coil.
  4. the act of curling or state of being curled.
  5. Plant Pathology.
    1. the distortion, fluting, or puffing of a leaf, resulting from the unequal development of its two sides.
    2. a disease so characterized.
  6. Also called rotation. Mathematics.
    1. a vector obtained from a given vector by taking its cross product with the vector whose coordinates are the partial derivative operators with respect to each coordinate.
    2. the operation that produces this vector.
  7. Weightlifting.
    1. an underhand forearm lift in which the barbell, held against the thighs, is raised to the chest and then lowered while keeping the legs, upper arms, and shoulders taut.
    2. a similar forearm lift using a dumbbell or dumbbells, usually from the side of the body to the shoulders.

verb phrase

  1. to sit or lie down cozily:

    to curl up with a good book.


/ kɜːl /


  1. intr (esp of hair) to grow into curves or ringlets
  2. trsometimes foll byup to twist or roll (something, esp hair) into coils or ringlets
  3. often foll by up to become or cause to become spiral-shaped or curved; coil

    the heat made the leaves curl up

  4. intr to move in a curving or twisting manner
  5. intr to play the game of curling
  6. curl one's lip
    curl one's lip to show contempt, as by raising a corner of the lip


  1. a curve or coil of hair
  2. a curved or spiral shape or mark, as in wood
  3. the act of curling or state of being curled
  4. any of various plant diseases characterized by curling of the leaves
  5. Also calledrotrotation maths a vector quantity associated with a vector field that is the vector product of the operator ∇ and a vector function A , where ∇ = i ∂/∂ x + j ∂/∂b y + k ∂/∂ z, i , j , and k being unit vectors. Usually written curl A , rot A Compare divergence gradient

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Other Words From

  • curl·ed·ly [kur, -lid-lee, kurld, -], adverb
  • curled·ness noun
  • inter·curl verb
  • under·curl noun
  • under·curl verb
  • well-curled adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of curl1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, apparently back formation from curled, variant of Middle English crulled (past participle) crul (adjective); compare Middle Dutch crullen “to curl”; cruller

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Word History and Origins

Origin of curl1

C14: probably from Middle Dutch crullen to curl; related to Middle High German krol curly, Middle Low German krūs curly

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. curl one's lip, to assume or display an expression of contempt:

    He curled his lip in disdain.

  2. curl one's / the hair, to fill with horror or fright; shock:

    Some of his stories about sailing across the Atlantic are enough to curl one's hair.

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Example Sentences

Prose’s algorithm can match a user’s unique hair to one of more than 14,000 formulations of customized curl styling cream.

The way the teeth are designed, it doesn’t disrupt the curl in the process like other brushes.

Whether you have wavy hair, straight hair, curly hair, hair, it will expand your curl into an amazing texture.

I set-up my ring light, beat my face, put some gel in my chemo curls and facilitated my own photo shoot in the living room with my iPhone.

I wore a wig everyday which I loving named Ruby, her curls worked just as hard as I did!

The only surprise was the left collar point, which was allowed to curl.

Poetry is no longer something we curl up to with a cup of tea.

Jonathan Coulton's song "Curl," with footage of Stephen Colbert trying out for the 2010 U.S. Curling Team.

Or to put it another way, sweeping helps make the stone not curl.

The smoke from his cigarette will curl around his head and nothing else near him will move, and you will wonder what he sees.

As soon as they begin to curl a little, they are thrown upon large planks, and each single leaf is rolled together.

He was an apprentice to a wig and curl maker, when Whitefield attracted his attention, and he became a methodist preacher.

If we apply heat to this balance the greater expansion of the brass portion of its rim would cause the free ends to curl inward.

His cheek-bones were as high as those of the Indian, but his skin was lighter in color, and his hair had a tendency to curl.

And now it was Louis's turn to let his sharp little beard curl up in impotent anger.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




curiumcurled paperwork