a small knot or lump in wool, thread, or cloth.
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)
to remove burls from (cloth) in finishing.

1400–50; late Middle English burleOld French; akin to Medieval Latin burla bunch, sheaf, Late Latin burra wool, fluff

burler, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
burl1 (bɜːl)
1.  a small knot or lump in wool
2.  a roundish warty outgrowth from the trunk, roots, or branches of certain trees
3.  (tr) to remove the burls from (cloth)
[C15: from Old French burle tuft of wool, probably ultimately from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth]

burl or birl2 (bɜːl)
1.  (Scot), (Austral), (NZ) an attempt; try (esp in the phrase give it a burl)
2.  (Austral), (NZ) a ride in a car
[C20: perhaps from birl1 in the Scot sense: a twist or turn]
birl or birl2
[C20: perhaps from birl1 in the Scot sense: a twist or turn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"small knot in wool or cloth," mid-15c., from O.Fr. bourle "tuft of wool," which perhaps is related to the root of bur, or from V.L. *burrula "small flock of wool," from L.L. burra "wool."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
burl   (bûrl)  Pronunciation Key 

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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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Example sentences
In the beautiful elevator, with the metalwork and the cherry-burl walls, he feels a solace.
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