• A particular stitch in knitting; an inversion of stitches giving the work a ribbed or waved appearance.
  • The edge of lace trimmed with loops.
  • An embroidered and puckered border; a hem or fringe, often of gold or silver twist; also, a pleat or fold, as of a band.
  • a heavy or headlong fall; an upset.
  • A circle made by the motion of a fluid; an eddy; a ripple.
  • A gentle murmuring sound, such as that produced by the running of a liquid among obstructions.
  • Ale or beer spiced with wormwood or other bitter herbs, regarded as a tonic.
  • Hot beer mixed with gin, sugar, and spices.
  • A tern.


  • To decorate with fringe or embroidered edge
  • an inverted stitch producing ribbing etc
  • To upset, to spin, capsize, fall heavily, fall headlong.
  • To flow with a murmuring sound in swirls and eddies.
  • To rise in circles, ripples, or undulations; to curl; to mantle.


  • Unknown; apparently related to Scots and dialect pirl, and possibly to Older Scots pyrl ("thrust or poke at"). Compare Venetian pirlo, an embellishment where the woven threads are twisted together. May be unrelated to purfle, though the meanings are similar.
  • from Middle English pirle ("whirligig"), Middle Italian pirla ("whipping top").
  • From Old Norse purla ("to babble"), possibly ultimately from an imitative Germanic base related to Dutch polder, Norwegian puldra ("to gush") and pulla, Old English polr ("marsh").
  • Possibly from the pearl-like appearance caused by bubbles on the surface of the liquid.

Modern English dictionary

Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.

Word of the Day

Get a curated memorable word every day.

Challenge yourself

Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.

And much more

Try out Vedaist now.