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)
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)
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.