pearl of great price

A phrase from one of the parables of Jesus; he compares the journey to heaven to a search for fine pearls conducted by a merchant, “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

Nearby words

  1. pearl grey,
  2. pearl harbor,
  3. pearl hominy,
  4. pearl millet,
  5. pearl molding,
  6. pearl onion,
  7. pearl oyster,
  8. pearl perch,
  9. pearl river,
  10. pearl tapioca


The expression has come to mean anything that is very valuable. For example, Hester Prynne, in The Scarlet Letter, who gave birth to a daughter following an act of adultery that destroyed her honor, named the child Pearl, because she had given up all that she had in bearing the child.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.