Idioms

    curl one's lip, to assume or display an expression of contempt: He curled his lip in disdain.
    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.

Origin of curl

1400–50; late Middle English, apparently back formation from curled, metathetic variant of Middle English crulled (past participle) crul (adj.); compare Middle Dutch crullen to curl, cruller
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curl

British Dictionary definitions for curl

curl

/ (kɜːl) /

verb

noun

See also curl up

Word Origin for curl

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

curl


v.

mid-15c., metathesis of crulle (c.1300), probably from an unrecorded Old English word or from Middle Dutch krul "curly," from Proto-Germanic *krusl- (cf. East Frisian krull "lock of hair," Middle High German krol, Norwegian krull, Danish krølle "curl"). The noun is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper