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[kur-lee] /ˈkɜr li/
adjective, curlier, curliest.
curling or tending to curl:
curly blond hair.
having curls (usually used in combination):
having a rippled or undulating appearance, as cut and finished wood:
curly maple.
Origin of curly
1720-30; curl + -y1
Related forms
curliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for curly
  • Straight hair may seem easy to brush but it actually tangles more often than curly locks.
  • One has dark curly hair with green eyes and the other has straight blonde hair with blue eyes.
  • Unmold mousse and serve on curly kale, with lemon mayonnaise poured over the top.
  • He is five feet eight inches tall, with curly, thinning hair and crow's-feet.
  • Their curly haired dog suns itself on the lighthouse steps.
  • It even says in the book that he has curly red hair.
  • The items in curly braces are there to indicate that there might be a number of possibilities.
  • Also, if you have curly hair be prepared for a change in texture.
  • Something that is still almost impossible to make is a curly hair wig.
  • The vineyards were green still, thickly spotted with curly, blood-red branches.
British Dictionary definitions for curly


adjective curlier, curliest
tending to curl; curling
having curls
(of timber) having irregular curves or waves in the grain
(Austral & NZ) difficult to counter or answer: a curly question
Derived Forms
curliness, noun
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 curly

1770s, from curl + -y (2); earliest use is of hair. Related: Curliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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