purl 2 also pearl (pûrl)
v. purled, purl·ing, purls also pearled or pearl·ing or pearls
1. To knit (yarn) with a purl stitch.
2. To edge or finish (a handkerchief, for example) with lace or embroidery.
1. To do knitting with a purl stitch.
2. To edge or finish with lace or embroidery.
1. Abbr. p. Inversion of a knit stitch; purl stitch.
2. A decorative edging of lace or embroidery.
3. Gold or silver wire used in embroidery.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.