- 1 [intransitive, transitive] curl (something) to form or make something form into a curl or curls His hair curls naturally. See related entries: Styling hair
- 2 [intransitive, transitive] to form or make something form into a curved shape (+ adv./prep.) The cat curled into a ball and went to sleep. curl something (+ adv./prep.) She curled her legs up under her.
- 3[intransitive, transitive] to move while forming into a twisted or curved shape; to make something do this (+ adv./prep.) The smoke curled steadily upwards. The honeysuckle curled around the trunk of the apple tree. curl something (+ adv./prep.) He turned and curled the ball around the goalkeeper.
- 4[transitive, intransitive] curl (something) if you curl your lip or your lip curls, you move your lip upwards and sideways to show that you think somebody/something is stupid or that you are better than they are Word Origin late Middle English: from obsolete crulle ‘curly’, from Middle Dutch krul.Extra examples His fingers curled tightly around the steering wheel. She was lying curled up on her bed. Smoke was curling up from the chimney. The photograph was brown and curling at the edges.Idioms to make somebody feel embarrassed or uncomfortable see also toe-curling See related entries: Embarrassment Phrasal Verbscurl upcurl upcurl up
verbjump to other results
BrE BrE//kɜːl//; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they curl
BrE BrE//kɜːl//; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrl//he / she / it curls
BrE BrE//kɜːlz//; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrlz//past simple curled
BrE BrE//kɜːld//; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrld//past participle curled
BrE BrE//kɜːld//; NAmE NAmE//kɜːrld//-ing form curling
BrE BrE//ˈkɜːlɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɜːrlɪŋ//Styling hair