QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

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

OTHER WORDS FROM pearl

pearler, nounpearlish, adjectivepearllike, adjective

Definition for pearl (2 of 2)

Pearl
[ purl ]
/ pɜrl /

noun

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)

pearl1
/ (pɜːl) /

noun

adjective

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

verb

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)

pearl2
/ (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

pearl
[ pûrl ]

n.

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

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.