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[hurl] /hɜrl/
a barb of a feather, used especially in dressing anglers' flies.
an artificial fly dressed with a herl.
Origin of herl
1300-50; Middle English; cognate with Middle Low German herle, harle, Low German harl fibre, hair of flax or hemp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for herl
Historical Examples
  • Wind silk floss (E) over the herl about half way up the hook.

    How to Tie Flies E. C. Gregg
  • Twitchbell—inside of lightest part of Starling's quill feather for wings, brown hackle for legs, brown Peacock's herl for body.

    The Teesdale Angler R Lakeland
  • Finish body with herl (D) wound tight against the back of the wings.

    How to Tie Flies E. C. Gregg
  • The tumult for herl Constant touch with the active, the gay!

    Gilian The Dreamer Neil Munro
British Dictionary definitions for herl


noun (angling)
the barb or barbs of a feather, used to dress fishing flies
an artificial fly dressed with such barbs
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Low German herle, of obscure origin
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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