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curl (kûrl)
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v. curled, curl·ing, curls
v.tr.
1. To twist (the hair, for example) into ringlets or coils.
2. To form into a coiled or spiral shape: curled the ends of the ribbon.
3. To decorate with coiled or spiral shapes.
4. To raise and turn under (the upper lip), as in snarling or showing scorn.
5. Sports To lift (a weight) by performing a curl.
v.intr.
1. To form ringlets or coils.
2. To assume a spiral or curved shape.
3. To move in a curve or spiral: The wave curled over the surfer.
4. Sports To engage in curling.
n.
1. Something with a spiral or coiled shape.
2. A coil or ringlet of hair.
3. A treatment in which the hair is curled.
4.
a. The act of curling: the curl of a meandering river.
b. The state of being curled.
5. Sports A weightlifting exercise using one or two hands, in which a weight held at the thigh or to the side of the body is raised to the chest or shoulder and then lowered without moving the upper arms, shoulders, or back.
6. Any of various plant diseases in which the leaves roll up.
Phrasal Verb:
curl up
To assume a position with the legs drawn up: The child curled up in an armchair to read.

[Middle English crullen, curlen, from crulle, curly, perhaps of Middle Low German origin.]
(click for a larger image)
curl

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Curl (kûrl), Robert Floyd, Jr. Born 1933.
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American chemist who shared a 1996 Nobel Prize for discovering fullerenes.

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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