American English

Definition of pearl noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a small, hard, shiny, white ball that forms inside the shell of an oyster and is of great value as a jewel a string of pearls a pearl necklace She was wearing her pearls (= a necklace of pearls ). see also seed pearl
  2. 2[countable] a copy of a pearl that is made artificially
  3. 3[uncountable] = mother-of-pearl pearl buttons
  4. 4[countable, usually singular] a thing that looks like a pearl in shape or color pearls of dew on the grass
  5. 5[countable] a thing that is very highly valued She is a pearl among women. The ski resort is known as the Pearl of the Rockies.
  6. Idioms
    cast, throw, etc. pearls before swine
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    to give or offer valuable things to people who do not understand their value
    a pearl of wisdom (usually ironic)
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    a wise remark Thank you for those pearls of wisdom.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pearl