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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Idioms for pearl

    cast pearls before swine, to offer or give something of great value to those incapable of appreciating it: She read them Shakespeare but it was casting pearls before swine.

Origin of pearl

1300–50; Middle English perle<Middle French <Italian or assumed Vulgar Latin *perla (>German Perle,Old English pærl), for Latin *pernula (>Portuguese perola, perhaps Old Saxon përula), diminutive of Latin perna sea mussel


pearler, nounpearlish, adjectivepearllike, adjective

Definition for pearl (2 of 2)

[ purl ]
/ pɜrl /


a town in central Mississippi.
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for pearl

British Dictionary definitions for pearl (1 of 2)

/ (pɜːl) /



of, made of, or set with pearl or mother-of-pearl
having the shape or colour of a pearl


Word Origin for pearl

C14: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin pernula (unattested), from Latin perna sea mussel

British Dictionary definitions for pearl (2 of 2)

/ (pɜːl) /

noun, verb

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

Medical definitions for pearl

[ pûrl ]


A small sphere of thin glass containing amyl nitrite or other volatile fluid, designed to be crushed, as in a handkerchief, so that its contents can be inhaled.
Any of a number of small tough masses of mucus occurring in the sputum in asthma.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for pearl

[ pûrl ]

A smooth, slightly iridescent, white or grayish rounded growth inside the shells of some mollusks. Pearls form as a reaction to the presence of a foreign particle, and consist of thin layers of mother-of-pearl that are deposited around the particle. The pearls of oysters are often valued as gems.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.