From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. To run swiftly round, as a small stream flowing among stones or other obstructions; to eddy; also, to make a murmuring sound, as water does in running over or through obstructions. Swift o'er the rolling pebbles, down the hills, Louder and louder purl the falling rills. (pope)

2. [Perh. Fr. F. Perler to pearl, to bead. See Pearl] To rise in circles, ripples, or undulations; to curl; to mantle. thin winding breath which purled up to the sky. (Shak)

Origin: Cf. Sw. Porla, and E. Pur to murmur as a cat.

1. A circle made by the notion of a fluid; an eddy; a ripple. Whose stream an easy breath doth seem to blow, Which on the sparkling gravel runs in purles, As though the waves had been of silver curls. (Drayton)

2. A gentle murmur, as that produced by the running of a liquid among obstructions; as, the purl of a brook.

3. [Perh. From F.perler, v. See Purl to mantle] malt liquor, medicated or spiced; formerly, ale or beer in which wormwood or other bitter herbs had been infused, and which was regarded as tonic; at present, hot beer mixed with gin, sugar, and spices. Drank a glass of purl to recover appetite. . Drinking hot purl, and smoking pipes. .

4. (Science: Zoology) A tern.

See: Purl.