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burl

[burl] /bɜrl/
noun
1.
a small knot or lump in wool, thread, or cloth.
2.
a dome-shaped growth on the trunk of a tree; a wartlike structure sometimes 2 feet (0.6 meters) across and 1 foot (0.3 meters) or more in height, sliced to make veneer.
verb (used with object)
3.
to remove burls from (cloth) in finishing.
Origin of burl
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English burleOld French; akin to Medieval Latin burla bunch, sheaf, Late Latin burra wool, fluff
Related forms
burler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for burl
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • burl saw what his father was doing and suddenly understood the danger.

    The Secret of the Ninth Planet Donald Allen Wollheim
  • burl a-plowin' in de fiel', A-singin' fur de roasin'-ear to come.

    Burl Morrison Heady
  • She became aware that burl was her slave, that these wonderful things he wore and had done were as nothing if she did not approve.

    The Mad Planet Murray Leinster
  • burl a-plowin' in de fiel', A-singin' fur de johnny-cake to come.

    Burl Morrison Heady
  • Once, burl paused to run his weapon through a fleshy column and reassure himself that what he planned was possible.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
  • But burl's thoughts were now not of horror but a vast astonishment.

    Nightmare Planet Murray Leinster
  • At the first sign of light breaking in the morning horizon, burl and his father started off.

    The Secret of the Ninth Planet Donald Allen Wollheim
  • burl turned to Saya—and realized that all the human folk had followed him.

    Nightmare Planet Murray Leinster
  • When he glimpsed the thing the blood drained from burl's face.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for burl

burl1

/bɜːl/
noun
1.
a small knot or lump in wool
2.
a roundish warty outgrowth from the trunk, roots, or branches of certain trees
verb
3.
(transitive) to remove the burls from (cloth)
Derived Forms
burler, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French burle tuft of wool, probably ultimately from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth

burl2

/bɜːl/
noun (informal)
1.
(Scot & Austral, NZ) an attempt; try (esp in the phrase give it a burl)
2.
(Austral & NZ) a ride in a car
Word Origin
C20: perhaps from birl1 in the Scot sense: a twist or turn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for burl
n.

"small knot in wool or cloth," mid-15c., from Old French bourle "tuft of wool," which perhaps is related to the root of bur, or from Vulgar Latin *burrula "small flock of wool," from Late Latin burra "wool."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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burl in Science
burl
  (bûrl)   

A large, rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree. Burls develop from one or more twig buds whose cells continue to multiply but never differentiate so that the twig can elongate into a limb. Burls do not usually cause harm to trees.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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