Meaning of CURL in English
I. curl 1 /kɜːl $ kɜːrl/ BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: crul 'curly' (1300-1400) , probably from Middle Dutch ]
1 . to form a twisted or curved shape, or to make something do this:
Mary was busy curling her hair.
Ivy curled round the tree.
2 . [always + adverb/preposition] to move, forming a twisted or curved shape, or to make something do this
curl across/along etc
Morning mists curled across the river.
curl something around/round/over etc something
He curled his arm around Claudia’s waist.
3 . if you curl your lip, or if your lip curls, you move it upwards and sideways, to show that you disapprove of someone or something:
Her lip curled in contempt.
⇨ make sb’s toes curl at ↑ toe 1 (5), ⇨ make your hair curl at ↑ hair (9)
curl up phrasal verb
1 . to move so that you are lying or sitting with your arms and legs bent close to your body:
I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep.
Sarah was curled up on the sofa.
2 . if something flat curls up, its edges start to become curved and point upwards:
The letter was now yellow and beginning to curl up.
II. curl 2 BrE AmE noun
1 . [countable] a piece of hair that hangs in a curved shape:
a little boy with beautiful blonde curls
2 . [singular, uncountable] the ability of your hair to form curls:
Use a diffuser to maximise the volume and curl of your hair.
hair that has a natural curl
3 . [countable] something in the shape of a curve:
Decorate the cake with chocolate curls.
A curl of smoke rose from her cigarette.
4 . [countable] an exercise in which you repeatedly bend your arms, legs, or stomach in order to make your muscles strong
5 . curl of sb’s lip/mouth a sideways and upwards movement of your lip or mouth, showing that you disapprove of someone or something
• • •
▪ soft/loose curls (=gentle curves)
long brown hair in soft curls
▪ tight curls (=curves that are very close together)
Her dark hair was arranged in tight curls.
▪ natural curls
You're lucky if you have natural curls.
▪ a stray/wayward curl (=hanging in an untidy way)
Emily pushed back a stray curl.
▪ golden/dark/black etc curls
a little boy with a tangle of blond curls
▪ curls fall/tumble (=hang down)
The child's golden curls fell around her shoulders.
▪ a mass/mop of curls (=a lot of curls)
a gorgeous Italian man with a mass of dark curls
▪ a tangle of curls (=curls that are not neatly combed)
a boy with a tangle of brown curls
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012