purl

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Unknown; apparently related to Scots and dialect pirl (twist, ripple, whirl, spin), and possibly to Older Scots pyrl ("thrust or poke at"). Compare Venetian pirlo, an embellishment where the woven threads are twisted together. May be unrelated to purfle, though the meanings are similar.

Noun[edit]

purl (plural purls)

  1. A particular stitch in knitting; an inversion of stitches giving the work a ribbed or waved appearance.
  2. The edge of lace trimmed with loops.
  3. An embroidered and puckered border; a hem or fringe, often of gold or silver twist; also, a pleat or fold, as of a band.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

purl (third-person singular simple present purls, present participle purling, simple past and past participle purled)

  1. To decorate with fringe or embroidered edge
    Needlework purled with gold.
  2. (knitting) To use an inverted stitch producing ribbing etc.
    Knit one, purl two.

Etymology 2[edit]

from Middle English pirle (whirligig), Middle Italian pirla (whipping top).

Noun[edit]

purl (plural purls)

  1. a heavy or headlong fall; an upset.

Verb[edit]

purl (third-person singular simple present purls, present participle purling, simple past and past participle purled)

  1. (archaic) To upset, to spin, capsize, fall heavily, fall headlong.
    The huntsman was purled from his horse.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Norse purla (to babble), possibly ultimately from an imitative Germanic base related to Dutch polder, Norwegian puldra (to gush) and pulla (to bubble), Old English polr (marsh).[1]

Verb[edit]

purl (third-person singular simple present purls, present participle purling, simple past and past participle purled)

  1. (intransitive) To flow with a murmuring sound in swirls and eddies.
  2. To rise in circles, ripples, or undulations; to curl; to mantle.
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

purl (plural purls) (Britain, dialectal)

  1. A circle made by the motion of a fluid; an eddy; a ripple.
    • 1596, Michael Drayton, Mortimeriados
      Whose streame an easie breath doth seeme to blowe; Which on the sparkling grauell runns in purles, / As though the waues had been of siluer curles
    • 1668, Jeremy Taylor, “Twenty-seven Sermons Preached at Golden Grove; Being for the Summer Half-year, []: Sermon VIII. A Funeral Sermon, &c.”, in Reginald Heber, editor, The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D. [], volume VI, London: Ogle, Duncan, and Co. []; and Richard Priestley, [], published 1822, OCLC 956524510, page 453:
      Whatsoever had a beginning, can also have an ending; and it shall die, unless it be daily watered with the purls flowing from the fountain of life, and refreshed with the dew of heaven, and the wells of God: []
  2. A gentle murmuring sound, such as that produced by the running of a liquid among obstructions.
    the purl of a brook

References[edit]

  1. ^ Proceedings - Volume 2 - Page 137. University of Michigan Press

Etymology 4[edit]

Possibly from the pearl-like appearance caused by bubbles on the surface of the liquid.

Noun[edit]

purl (uncountable)

  1. (archaic) Ale or beer spiced with wormwood or other bitter herbs, regarded as a tonic.
  2. (archaic) Hot beer mixed with gin, sugar, and spices.

Etymology 5[edit]

Noun[edit]

purl (plural purls)

  1. (UK, dialect) A tern.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “purl” in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Anagrams[edit]