|1.||a hard smooth lustrous typically rounded structure occurring on the inner surface of the shell of a clam or oyster: consists of calcium carbonate secreted in layers around an invading particle such as a sand grain; much valued as a gemRelated: margaric, margaritic|
|2.||any artificial gem resembling this|
|4.||a person or thing that is like a pearl, esp in beauty or value|
|5.||a pale greyish-white colour, often with a bluish tinge|
|6.||a size of printer's type, approximately equal to 5 point|
|7.||of, made of, or set with pearl or mother-of-pearl|
|8.||having the shape or colour of a pearl|
|9.||(tr) to set with or as if with pearls|
|10.||to shape into or assume a pearl-like form or colour|
|11.||(intr) to dive or search for pearls|
|Related: margaric, margaritic|
|[C14: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin pernula (unattested), from Latin perna sea mussel]|
A small sphere of thin glass containing amyl nitrite or other volatile fluid, designed to be crushed, as in a handkerchief, so that its contents can be inhaled.
Any of a number of small tough masses of mucus occurring in the sputum in asthma.
|pearl (pûrl) Pronunciation Key
A smooth, slightly iridescent, white or grayish rounded growth inside the shells of some mollusks. Pearls form as a reaction to the presence of a foreign particle, and consist of thin layers of mother-of-pearl that are deposited around the particle. The pearls of oysters are often valued as gems.
(Heb. gabish, Job 28:18; Gr. margarites, Matt. 7:6; 13:46; Rev. 21:21). The pearl oyster is found in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Its shell is the "mother of pearl," which is of great value for ornamental purposes (1 Tim. 2:9; Rev. 17:4). Each shell contains eight or ten pearls of various sizes.
cast pearls before swine
Give something of value of someone who won't appreciate it, as in The old professor felt that lecturing on Dante to unruly undergraduates would be casting pearls before swine. This term comes from the New Testament (Matthew 7:6), appearing in Tyndale's translation (1526). It was repeated often by writers from Shakespeare to Dickens and remains current.