Definition of pearl noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pɜːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɜːrl//
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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 colour 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 Alps.
  6. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French perle, perhaps based on Latin perna ‘leg’, extended to denote a leg-of-mutton-shaped bivalve.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
    (usually ironic) a wise remark Thank you for those pearls of wisdom.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pearl