9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pur-lee] /ˈpɜr li/
adjective, pearlier, pearliest.
like a pearl, especially in being white or lustrous; nacreous:
her pearly teeth.
adorned with or abounding in pearls or mother-of-pearl.
Origin of pearly
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English peerly. See pearl1, -y1
Related forms
pearliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pearly
  • He's almost never without a benign grin, a smile so pearly-white perfect that he could get work in a teeth-bleaching ad.
  • Up above her was a tree in a pearly cloud of mistletoe.
  • The artist himself rhapsodically described his hometown's pearly and rarely directly sunny light and marine air.
  • The eardrum is a light-gray color or a shiny pearly-white.
  • Whether a luscious purple or a pearly light green, figs are always a special treat.
  • Note the pearly appearance and the dimple in the center of the bumps.
  • After freeze-up, pearly white nutlets become evident.
British Dictionary definitions for pearly


adjective pearlier, pearliest
resembling a pearl, esp in lustre
of the colour pearl; pale bluish-grey
decorated with pearls or mother-of-pearl
noun (in Britain) (pl) pearlies
a London costermonger who wears on ceremonial occasions a traditional dress of dark clothes covered with pearl buttons
(pl) the clothes or the buttons themselves
Derived Forms
pearliness, 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 pearly

early 15c., from pearl + -y (2). Related: Pearliness. The pearly gates of Heaven (or the New Jerusalem) are attested by 1708, from Rev. 21:21.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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