• Pearl Set Pins
    Pearl Set Pins
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v pearl gather pearls, from oysters in the ocean
    • n pearl a shade of white the color of bleached bones
    • n pearl a smooth lustrous round structure inside the shell of a clam or oyster; much valued as a jewel
    • n pearl a shape that is spherical and small "he studied the shapes of low-viscosity drops","beads of sweat on his forehead"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Cock and the Pearl The Cock and the Pearl

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Pearls melt in vinegar
    • Pearl A capsule of gelatin or similar substance containing some liquid for medicinal application, as ether.
    • Pearl (Zoöl) A fish allied to the turbot; the brill.
    • n Pearl pẽrl A fringe or border.
    • Pearl (Zoöl) A light-colored tern.
    • Pearl (Zoöl) A shelly concretion, usually rounded, and having a brilliant luster, with varying tints, found in the mantle, or between the mantle and shell, of certain bivalve mollusks, especially in the pearl oysters and river mussels, and sometimes in certain univalves. It is usually due to a secretion of shelly substance around some irritating foreign particle. Its substance is the same as nacre, or mother-of-pearl.
    • Pearl (Print) A size of type, between agate and diamond.
    • Pearl A whitish speck or film on the eye.
    • Pearl Hence, figuratively, something resembling a pearl; something very precious. "I see thee compassed with thy kingdom's pearl .""And those pearls of dew she wears."
    • Pearl Nacre, or mother-of-pearl.
    • a Pearl pẽrl Of or pertaining to pearl or pearls; made of pearls, or of mother-of-pearl.
    • Pearl (Zoöl) One of the circle of tubercles which form the bur on a deer's antler.
    • Pearl To cause to resemble pearls; to make into small round grains; as, to pearl barley.
    • Pearl To dive or hunt for pearls; as, to go pearling .
    • Pearl To resemble pearl or pearls.
    • Pearl To set or adorn with pearls, or with mother-of-pearl. Used also figuratively.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: On Sunday, December 7, 1941 at 7:55 AM, the attack on Pearl Harbor commenced
    • n pearl A nacreous concretion, or separate mass of nacre, of hard, smooth, lustrous texture, and a rounded, oval, pear-shaped, or irregular figure, secreted within the shells of various bivalve mollusks as a result of the irritation caused by the presence of some foreign body, as a grain of sand, within the mantle-lobes. The formation of a pearl is an abnormal or morbid process, comparable to that by which any foreign body, as a bullet, may become encysted in animal tissues and so cease to cause further irritation. In the case of the mollusks which yield pearls, the deposition is of the same substance as the nacre which lines the shell, hence called mother-of-pearl, in successive layers upon the offending particle. Fine pearls have frequently been found in working the mother-of-pearl shell. Chemically, pearls consist of calcium carbonate interstratified with animal substance, and are hence easily dissolved by acids or destroyed by heat. The chief sources of the supply of pearls are the pearl-oysters and pearl-mussels, Aviculidæ and Unionidæ, and foremost among the former is the pearl-oyster of Indian seas, Meleagrina margaritifera. Pearls are generally of a satiny, silvery, or bluish-white color, but also pink, copper-colored, purple, yellow, gray, smoky-brown, and black. The finest white pearls are from Ceylon, the Persian Gulf, Thursday Island, and the western coast of Australia. The yellow are from Panama. The finest black and gray pearls are obtained in the Gulf of California, along the entire coast from Lower California to the lower part of Mexico. There are two distinct varieties of pink pearl: those from the common conch-shell, Strombus gigas, of the West Indies, and those from the unios or fresh mussels found in Scotland, Germany, France, and the United States (the finest being obtained principally from Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, and Wisconsin), also from the small marine shell Trigona pectonensis of Australia. Purple, light-blue, and black pearls are found in the common clam, Venus mercenaria. The yellow color of Oriental pearls generally results from the decomposition of the mollusks in which they are found. The value of a pearl depends entirely on its perfection of form (which, must be either round, pear-shaped, or a perfect oval), on its luster or “orient,” and on the purity of its color, a tint of yellow or gray detracting very much from the value. Pearls are sold by the pearl-grain, four grains equaling one carat. (See carat, n., 4.) From 1880 to 1890 the demand for pearls and the rarity of their occurrence resulted in an advance in price of from 250 to 300 per cent, the larger pearls having advanced more, proportionally, than the smaller ones. Until about 1865, pearls were generally valued as multiples of a grain. The value of a pearl larger than one grain was estimated by squaring its weight and multiplying this by the value of a one-grain pearl: thus, a two-grain and a five-grain pearl were worth respectively 4 and 25 times the value-of a one-grain pearl.
    • n pearl Anything very valuable; the choicest or best part; a jewel; the finest of its kind.
    • n pearl Something round and clear, as a drop of water or dew; any small granule or globule resembling a pearl; specifically, in pharmacy, a small pill or pellet containing or consisting of some medicinal substance.
    • n pearl A white speck or film growing on the eye; cataract.
    • n pearl Mother-of-pearl; nacre: as, a pearl button.
    • n pearl A size of printing-type, about 15 lines to the inch, intermediate between the larger size agate and the smaller size diamond: it is equal to 5 points, and is so distinguished in the new system of sizes.
    • n pearl This line is printed in pearl.
    • n pearl In heraldry: A small ball argent, not only as a bearing but as part of a coronet.
    • n pearl The color white.
    • n pearl One of the bony tubercles which form a rough circle round the base of a deer's antler, called collectively the bur.
    • n pearl In entomology, a name of many pyralid moths; any pearl-moth.
    • n pearl A fish, the prill or brill: perhaps so called from the light spots, otherwise probably a transposed form of prill.
    • n pearl Eccles., a name sometimes given to a particle of the consecrated wafer: still current in the Oriental Church.
    • n pearl A name given by gilders and manufacturers of jewelry to granules of metal produced by melting it to extreme fluidity, and then pouring it into cold water. The stream in pouring should be so small, and the crucible held at such a distance from the water, that the metal will break up into fine drops (pearls) before reaching the water, which instantly cools them. The cooled granules are usually pear-shaped The epithet granulated is more commonly applied in the United States to metals prepared in this way, as granulated copper, silver, zinc, etc., used in the preparation of jewelers' alloys on account of their convenience in weighing, and for other purposes—pure granulated zinc being much employed by chemists fur generating pure hydrogen gas, as in Marsh's test for arsenic, etc.
    • n pearl In lace- and ribbon-making, one of the loops which form the outer edge. Also purl.
    • n pearl In decorative art. See purl.
    • pearl To adorn, set, or stud with pearls.
    • pearl To make into a form, or to cause to assume an appearance, resembling that of pearls: as, to pearl barley (by rubbing off the pulp and grinding the berries to a rounded shape); to pearl comfits (by causing melted sugar to harden around the kernels, thus forming small rounded pellets).
    • pearl To resemble pearls.
    • pearl To take a rounded form, as a drop of liquid: as, quicksilver pearls when dropped in small quantities.
    • pearl To assume a resemblance to pearls, or the shape of pearls, as barley or comfits.
    • n pearl In ship-rigging, one of the bull's-eye rollers strung on the round iron band which spans the forward part of the gaff on fore-and-aft vessels, and which assist in the smooth hoisting of the spar, as well as confining it to the mast.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Pearls are rarely found in North American oysters
    • n Pearl pėrl a well-known shining gem, found in several kinds of shellfish, but most esp. in the mother-of-pearl oyster: anything round and clear: anything very precious: a jewel: a while speck or film on the eye:
    • adj Pearl made of, or belonging to, pearls
    • v.t Pearl to set or adorn with pearls: to make into small round grains
    • v.i Pearl to take a rounded form: to become like pearls
    • adj Pearl of a pale gray colour, like the pearl
    • n Pearl pėrl (print.) a size of type immediately above diamond, equal to 5 points (about 15 lines to the inch)
    • ***


  • John Balguy
    John Balguy
    “Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase.”
  • Ronald Reagan
    “We're in greater danger today than we were the day after Pearl Harbor. Our military is absolutely incapable of defending this country.”
  • George D. Prentice
    George D. Prentice
    “A word of kindness is seldom spoken in vain, while witty sayings are as easily lost as the pearls slipping from a broken string.”
  • Honore De Balzac
    “In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls.”
  • John Dryden
    “He who would search for pearls must dive below.”
  • Doris Lessing
    “Pearls mean tears.”


Cast pearls before swine - If you cast pearls before swine, you offer something of value to someone who doesn't appreciate it- 'swine' are 'pigs'.
Throw pearls to the pigs - Someone that throws pearls to pigs is giving someone else something they don't deserve or appreciate. ('Throw pearls before pigs' and 'Cast pearls before swine' are also used.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. perle, F. perle, LL. perla, perula, probably fr. (assumed) L. pirulo, dim. of L. pirum, a pear. See Pear, and cf. Purl to mantle
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. perle, acc. to Diez, prob. either a corr. of L. pirula, a dim. of pirum, a pear, or of L. pilula, dim. of pila, a ball.


In literature:

Dip whatever is to be marked in strong pearl-ash water.
"The American Housewife" by Anonymous
Molly got a little pearl necklace as well as five pounds.
"Oswald Bastable and Others" by Edith Nesbit
Man should prize many things, yet woman is his pearl of greatest price.
"Social Life" by Maud C. Cooke
Wash four ounces of pearl barley, boil it in two quarts of water and a stick of cinnamon, till reduced to a quart.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
The rivers in the vicinity of Chiaha seem to have abounded with pearl oysters, and large numbers of beautiful pearls were obtained.
"Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi" by John S. C. Abbott
Pearls are easier negotiated than diamonds.
"The White Lie" by William Le Queux
The fourth row you pearl three, knit one, and pearl six, alternately.
"The Ladies' Work-Table Book" by Anonymous
Illustration: Between sobs and cries of "My Pearl, my Pearl," Mrs. Bryan identified the clothing.
"The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan" by Unknown
There was at that time in Goldsturmer's Bond Street establishment a rope of pearls which she very much wished to possess.
"The Island Mystery" by George A. Birmingham
What assurance could there be that the precious pearl-bed would not be devastated?
"Adrift on the Pacific" by Edward S. Ellis

In poetry:

Then again he dips his wing
In the wrinkles of the spring,
Then oer the rushes flies again,
And pearls roll off his back like rain.
"The Swallow" by John Clare
A woman pure, oh, who can find?
Her price is dearer far than gold,
And greater in her husband's mind,
Than shining gems, or pearls untold.
"A Virtuous Woman" by Thomas Frederick Young
The pearls that gleam in the billow,
But darken the gloom of the deep--
And laughter plants the pillow
With thorns, where sorrow would sleep.
"The Broken Heart" by Samuel Griswold Goodrich
Sad and sweetly answered she,
"What are comely robes to me?
I would wear a grass green dress,
Dew pearls for my gems--no less
Now can comfort me."
"Sad One, Must You Weep" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
Oh, dear! what pretty things you said,
What pearls of song you threaded for me!
I did not-till your ghost had fled-
Remember how you always bore me!
"Villeggiature" by Edith Nesbit
THE lady sits in her lone bower,
With cheek wan as the white rose flower
That blooms beside, 'tis pale and wet
As that rose with its dew pearls set.
"The Troubadour. Canto 2" by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

In news:

Defence Secretary Panetta warns of 'cyber Pearl Harbour'.
Enlarge Dennis Pillion Pearl Jam performs at DeLuna Fest in Pensacola Beach on Friday, Sept 21, 2012.
It was 10 years ago today that a U-S nuclear submarine collided with a Japanese fishing boat in of all places Pearl Harbor.
It's Friday night, and on one end of Pearl Street, megachurch televangelist Joel Osteen is saving souls at a packed Times Union Center.
Some of you have no freakin' idea how POWERFUL Pearl Jam was at their peak.
View full size Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl'.
As the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor approaches and books on World War II dominate best-seller lists, interest is also growing in posters, songs and other memorabilia from that era.
Professional dog trainer Debbie Pearl is the owner of Paws for Effect , a LA based company that trains dogs for roles in movies, television shows and commercials.
View full size Randy L. Rasmussen, The Oregonian Molly Scrutton applies highlights to Frances Burton's long, dark hair at Platform Artistic Salon in Portland's Pearl District.
View full size Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian Molly Scrutton applies highlights to Frances Burton's long, dark hair at Platform Artistic Salon in Portland's Pearl District.
Li Baicheng, Pearl Shi, You Xiaoyun.
Fortuna resident Pearl Frey took the ride of her life today.
TN River Freshwater Pearl Museum.
The difference between San Jose's sad HempCon and the city's awesome Yerba Buena Collective Amber Pearl.
Haley Barbour's defense of a GOP/Hong Kong connection, fallout from the failed attempt to oust Speaker Gingrich, and pearls of wisdom from Rep Sony Bono (R-CA).

In science:

In this work we will show that in fact the Pearl interaction potential is capable of describing satisfactorily the superconducting properties of a very thin superconductor.
Elastic Properties of the Vortex Lattice for a Superconducting Film of Finite Thickness
This is the Pearl result for vortices emerging from a semi-infinite isotropic superconductor.1 Another interesting particular case of Eq. (1) is the limit of a very thin film, d → 0, and k small.
Elastic Properties of the Vortex Lattice for a Superconducting Film of Finite Thickness
This is precisely the energy of an ensemble of interacting vortices in a very thin film first obtained by Pearl.2 However, his derivation is supposed to be valid for any k .
Elastic Properties of the Vortex Lattice for a Superconducting Film of Finite Thickness
By using these parameters we evaluated numerically cp 66 and c66 , where the superscript p means that the Pearl potential was used to calculate the shear modulus, whereas with no superscript we used the full expression of Eq. (8).
Elastic Properties of the Vortex Lattice for a Superconducting Film of Finite Thickness
This was first experimentally observed by Fiory.9 The conclusion we draw from this scenario is that the Pearl potential is indeed valid in the limit of very thin film.
Elastic Properties of the Vortex Lattice for a Superconducting Film of Finite Thickness