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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'd be kind of careful about any man that was knocking his boss—wouldn't you, curly?

    The Man Next Door Emerson Hough
  • Is it my fault, too, if my hair is too curly, and if I don't think just as other people do?

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • curly nudged Keegan and said something out of the corner of his mouth.

    Buff: A Collie and other dog-stories Albert Payson Terhune
  • Some one has remarked that all the good children who die have curly hair.'

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • The festivities had begun and curly had to be much in evidence before the public.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
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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