verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of pearl1
verb (used with or without object), noun
verb (used with or without object)
Origin of purl1
Examples from the Web for pearls
Contemporary Examples of pearls
Later in the film, when she comes on wearing a strand of pearls, he snorts, “She looks like the queen.”Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Caligula drank “pearls of great price dissolved in vinegar.”An Ivy League Frat Boy’s Shallow Repentance
November 24, 2014
Both have elicited the same hand wringing and pearls clutching.Dissed By Her Doctor for Wanting HIV Protection
September 6, 2014
Plenty of us women were enjoying the same behavior (clutch your pearls); it was fun.Dear Princeton Mom, Stop Telling Me To Husband-Hunt
February 14, 2014
Miller first appeared on the cover of Vogue in 1927 in a blue hat and pearls, drawn by renowned French illustrator Georges Lepape.‘Lee Miller in Fashion’: A Look at the Famed War Photographer’s More Unknown Work
October 7, 2013
Historical Examples of pearls
And the pearls, the young chief's necklace, what became of that?The Trail Book
"I've been a fool," said Eileen, tugging at the pearls viciously.
We are not feasting on baked swans, peacock tongues and drinking our pearls.
Cecilia wore a silver crown, in which glistened the most brilliant of pearls.The Dream
And with a low bow he handed to her a beautiful necklace of pearls.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
Word Origin for pearl
Word Origin for purl
Word Origin for purl
mid-13c., from Old French perle (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin perla (mid-13c.), of unknown origin. Perhaps from Vulgar Latin *pernula, diminutive of Latin perna, which in Sicily meant "pearl," earlier "sea-mussel," literally "ham, haunch, gammon," so called for the shape of the mollusk shells.
For pearls before swine, see swine. Pearl Harbor translates Hawaiian Wai Momi, literally "pearl waters," so named for the pearl oysters found there; transferred sense of "effective sudden attack" is attested from 1942 (in reference to Dec. 7, 1941).
"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), probably from Middle English pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but even this is not certain. Klein suggests a source in Italian pirolare "to twirl," from pirolo "top." As a noun, from late 14c. as "bordering, frills," 1530s as "twisted thread of gold and silver."
"flow with a murmuring sound," 1580s, imitative, perhaps from a Scandinavian language. Related: Purled; purling.
see cast pearls before swine.