[ furl ]
/ fɜrl /
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verb (used with object)
to gather into a compact roll and bind securely, as a sail against a spar or a flag against its staff.
verb (used without object)
to become furled.
the act of furling.
something furled, as a roll.
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Idioms about furl
furl in a body, Nautical. to furl (a square sail) with loose canvas gathered at the mast, so as to make a harbor furl.
furl in the bunt, Nautical. to furl (a square sail) by gathering canvas upward, so as to load the yard equally at all points.
Origin of furl
1550–60; compare Middle French ferler in same sense, perhaps representing Old French ferlier to chain, fasten, equivalent to fer firm (<Latin firmus) + lier to bind (<Latin ligāre)
OTHER WORDS FROM furlfurl·a·ble, adjectivefurler, noun
Other definitions for furl (2 of 2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use furl in a sentence
Paul Pringle was on the forecastle, call in mouth, issuing the necessary orders for furling sails.True Blue|W.H.G. Kingston
They escaped danger by furling all the sails, warned in time by the native pilots.Notable Voyagers|W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
All hands but the captain and myself were aloft, furling the sails forward.The Log of a Sea-Waif|Frank T. Bullen
Near the shore a small shallop, on whose deck stood a group of armed whites, had just cast anchor, and was furling its sails.Historic Tales, Vol. 1 (of 15)|Charles Morris
Looking back, he saw the "Aimable" furling her sails, and his heart sank with the conviction that she had struck upon the reef.La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West|Francis Parkman
British Dictionary definitions for furl
/ (fɜːl) /
to roll up (an umbrella, a flag, etc) neatly and securely or (of an umbrella, flag, etc) to be rolled up in this way
(tr) nautical to gather in (a square sail)
the act or an instance of furling
a single rolled-up section
Derived forms of furlfurlable, adjectivefurler, noun
Word Origin for furl
C16: from Old French ferlier to bind tightly, from ferm tight (from Latin firmus firm 1) + lier to tie, bind, from Latin ligāre
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