There are 2 definitions of purl in English:

purl1

Line breaks: purl
Pronunciation: /pəːl
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 1A knitting stitch made by putting the needle through the front of the stitch from right to left: [as modifier]: a purl stitch Compare with plain1 ( sense 5 of the adjective).
    More example sentences
    • Priscilla Gibson-Roberts explains how wrapping the yarns the way most western cultures do for the purl stitch, tends to use just a bit more yarn, so the purls rows are just a little looser than the knit rows.
    • Look at how crisp the bobbles are and regularity the purl stitches.
    • Eddie was trying to explain to Pride the difference between knit and purl, and how to use each of them.
  • 2A cord of twisted gold or silver wire used for bordering or edging something.
    More example sentences
    • The spangle kept in place by a stitch through a short piece of Purl.
  • 2.1An ornamental edging of lace or ribbon.
    More example sentences
    • Portrayed in seventeenth-century dress, the central figures are richly picked out in colourful threads of satin and stern stitch with couched silk and purl.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • Knit with a purl stitch: knit one, purl one
    More example sentences
    • Purl one, knit one, purl one, purl one - wait, that was a knit, wasn't it?
    • Or perhaps it'll be cyber-knitters, chanting some elaborated version of ‘knit one, purl two’ as they create mythic tapestries or heal rifts in the fabric of space-time.
    • Although, I find it less annoying than a rib - knit 3, move yarn, purl 3, move yarn, repeat - because I always loose track of what stitch I'm on.

Origin

mid 17th century: of uncertain origin.

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Pronunciation: ˈtɔːtiː
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There are 2 definitions of purl in English:

purl2

Line breaks: purl
Pronunciation: /pəːl
 
/
literary

verb

[no object]
  • (Of a stream or river) flow with a swirling motion and babbling sound: large stones stood blackly in the water, making it purl as it rolled around them
    More example sentences
    • The water gurgled and purled, loudly at first, then softly, as a powerful foot-wide whirlpool took shape.
    • Miri could not imagine there was such a beautiful place as the island of Philae, an island amongst islands washed by the purling waters of the Nile.
    • I look out of the window and through the purling drops I can see gutters running with water; I can see the clouds almost black with rain to come.

noun

[in singular] Back to top  
  • A purling motion or sound: it was quiet except for the liquid purl of the fountain
    More example sentences
    • His hands just purled off notes in all shapes and forms.
    • The shadows lurched forward, purling around his ankles like tendrils of smoke.
    • No. 23 (F Major - Moderato) purls off the piano like drops of water for some forty seconds before the conclusion begins, in No. 24 (D Minor - Allegro appassionato), sweeping, broad, interlaced with runs.

Origin

early 16th century (denoting a small swirling stream): probably imitative; compare with Norwegian purla 'bubble up'.

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