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.

curl around/round

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.

curl of

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

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ 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

■ verbs

▪ curls fall/tumble (=hang down)

The child's golden curls fell around her shoulders.

■ phrases

▪ 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.