[ hurl ]

  1. a barb of a feather, used especially in dressing anglers' flies.

  2. an artificial fly dressed with a herl.

Origin of herl

1300–50; Middle English; cognate with Middle Low German herle, harle,Low German harl fibre, hair of flax or hemp

Words Nearby herl

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use herl in a sentence

  • Red Clock,—wings and legs red; Peacock's brown herl, and bright red silk for body.

    The Teesdale Angler | R Lakeland
  • Twitchbell—inside of lightest part of Starling's quill feather for wings, brown hackle for legs, brown Peacock's herl for body.

    The Teesdale Angler | R Lakeland
  • Body greenish herl of Peacock,—ribbed with gold tinsel,—wrapt with red silk,—red hackle over all.

    The Teesdale Angler | R Lakeland
  • A brown mallard, or dark hen-pheasant tail for wing, a black hackle for legs, and the necessary peacock-herl body.

    Prose Idylls | Charles Kingsley
  • Wind silk floss (E) over the herl about half way up the hook.

    How to Tie Flies | E. C. Gregg

British Dictionary definitions for herl



/ (hɜːl) /

  1. the barb or barbs of a feather, used to dress fishing flies

  2. an artificial fly dressed with such barbs

Origin of herl

C15: from Middle Low German herle, of obscure origin

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