Meaning of CURL in English


I. ˈkərl, esp before pause or consonant ˈkər.əl; ˈkə̄l, ˈkəil verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English curlen, crullen, from crolle, crulle curly, probably from Middle Dutch; akin to Old High German krol curly, Norwegian krull, Middle High German krūs, Old English crēas fine, elegant, cradol cradle — more at cradle

transitive verb

1. : to twist or form into coils or ringlets (as the hair)

2. : to form into a curved shape : make a curve or curves in or on : twist

curled one leg about the other

3. : to furnish with or as if with curls

a head curled with graceful locks

4. : to contort in a grimace or similar expression of feeling

curling his lips in a sneer

she looked at him contemptuously and then curled her mouth up in anger — Liam O'Flaherty

5. : to cut so thinly as to create a twisted or ringed effect

curled bacon

curled celery stalks

intransitive verb

1. : to grow in coils or spirals

her hair curls naturally

a curling vine

: form ripples, crinkles, or ringlets

her hair curls only in damp weather

bacon curls when fried

the crisp white edge of a curling wave — F.J.Mather

2. : to move or progress in curves or spirals

the lanes curl and wind into a … sort of labyrinth — Faubion Bowers

: form into rings or curves

the snake lashed and curled — William Beebe

: roll or move in ripples

his laughter curled round his sentences — Virginia Woolf

3. : to twist or contort (as in a grimace)

his lip curled in scorn

4. : to play the game of curling

Synonyms: see wind

- curl the hair

II. noun

( -s )

1. : a lock of hair that coils : ringlet

2. : something having a curling or coiling shape (as a shaving of wood) : coil , spiral

3. : the action or fact of curling : the state of being curled

keep the hair in curl


a. : an eddy in a stream

b. South : a bend in a stream

5. : an abnormal rolling or curling of leaves ; also : a malformation caused by the feeding of aphids or other sucking insects — compare leaf curl , leaf roll


a. archery : a sudden turn in the grain of a bow

b. : a curved or spiral marking in the grain of wood

7. : tendril

8. mathematics : the vector product of the operator del and the vector

9. : the degree to which a sheet of paper departs from a plane when freely exposed to the atmosphere

III. noun

1. : a hollow arch of water formed when the crest of a breaking wave spills forward — called also tube tunnel

2. : a body-building exercise in which a weight held at thigh level is raised to chest or shoulder level and then lowered without moving the shoulders or upper arms

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.