There are 3 main definitions of Pearl in English:


Syllabification: Pearl

Entry from US English dictionary

A city in central Mississippi, just east of Jackson; population 24,400 (est. 2008).

Definition of Pearl in:

There are 3 main definitions of Pearl in English:


Line breaks: pearl
Pronunciation: /pəːl


1A hard, lustrous spherical mass, typically white or bluish-grey, formed within the shell of a pearl oyster or other bivalve mollusc and highly prized as a gem: a linen garment decorated with pearls [mass noun]: necklaces of amethyst and pearl [as modifier]: a pair of pearl earrings
More example sentences
  • She had changed from her khaki uniform to a more casual blue slacks, white pullover sweater and blue shoes, pearl earrings and a pearl necklace.
  • In fact, the only piece of jewelry that she wore was a pearl necklace, matching pearl earrings, and a gold wedding ring encasing a ruby.
  • Her matching pearl earrings and necklace elegantly decorated her.
1.1An artificial imitation of a pearl.
More example sentences
  • Do you want natural, cultured, or imitation pearls?
  • He experimented with the artificial culture of pearls, by inserting grit to act as a nucleus around which the new pearl would form.
  • The set created by William II is comprised of a sword, an orb, a scepter and crown - all of silver gilt and set with imitation stones and pearls.
1.2 (pearls) A necklace of pearls: tweeds look traditional teamed with twinset and pearls
More example sentences
  • Ditch the summer's clunky ethnic beads for lady-like pearls, vintage jewellery, an old-fashioned handbag, leather gloves and a flash of stocking.
  • Jewellery, including pearls and tiaras, is available for hire or purchase.
  • Also on display are stringed natural pearls and chains with lockets that have American diamonds laid on silver plated with gold.
1.3Something resembling a pearl: the sweat stood in pearls along his forehead
More example sentences
  • Suddenly the fleece jacket on your arm, well used in colder climes, weighs heavy and pearls of sweat appear on your brow.
  • He closed his eyes; a pearl of sweat ran down his face.
  • The way it would warm cold and clammy skin, or make a pearl of sweat roll down my face.
1.4 short for mother-of-pearl.
1.5 [mass noun] A very pale bluish grey or white colour like that of a pearl: [as modifier]: her dress was a lovely pearl grey
More example sentences
  • Call it what you will - lily white, creamy white, porcelain or pearl - I am still ghostly pale.
  • Fashion critics adore her dresses in hand-dyed shades of pearl, frost, teal, grey and chocolate, worn over silk slip dresses.
  • Its hues were of white, pearl, and alabaster, and it shone with pristine care and impeccable architecture.
2A person or thing of great worth: he has some pearls of wisdom to offer
More example sentences
  • Those who attended his classes at the University of California in the mid-1960s were lucky enough to pick up a few pearls of wisdom, and we do have some revealing interviews and articles.
  • School children tag along beside us, as we examine architectural jewels, eager to soak up our guide's pearls of wisdom.
  • But with his well-documented habit of pausing for 30 seconds or so while considering the question, you do begin to wonder if he revels in cultivating an air of expectancy for his pearls of wisdom.


[no object] Back to top  
1 literary Form pearl-like drops: the juice on the blade pearled into droplets
More example sentences
  • The perfect pear drop of a tear pearled at the side of his face.
  • A hiccup broke his voice as tears pearled at the rim of his eyes.
  • Blood pearled around the shaft of the arrow, bright red, and swelled there like a parasite until it crept down her cheek.
1.1 [with object] Make bluish-grey: sunset pearling the sky above the hills
2 (usually as noun pearling) Dive or fish for pearl oysters: [as modifier]: the pearling industry
More example sentences
  • Aside from Dubai City, a trading center which was then by far the largest town, they subsisted primarily on date production, fishing, pearling, and, for some centuries, piracy.
  • As soon as he realized the value that foreigners placed on pearls, he reserved pearling in Pearl Harbor for himself and employed commoners to dive.
  • Not so long ago trochus shelling, along with pearling and the taking of the sea cucumber were important fishery industries along the Great Barrier Reef and to the north and west of Australia.


late Middle English: from Old French perle, perhaps based on Latin perna 'leg', extended to denote a leg-of-mutton-shaped bivalve.


cast pearls before swine

Offer valuable things to people who do not appreciate them.
[with biblical allusion to Matt. 7:6]
More example sentences
  • Oh, but even as I write I can't shake the feeling that I'm casting pearls before swine; that you don't believe a word of this, that you remain suspicious of my motives.
  • As a general rule, I advise against casting pearls before swine.
  • It was a true case of casting pearls before swine.



More example sentences
  • As can be seen in the pictures there where some real pearlers here.
  • The last quarter proved to be an absolute pearler.
  • We did, and on a day forecast as spoilt by scattered showers and cloud we were rewarded with an absolute pearler.

Definition of Pearl in: