What does curl mean?

Definitions for curl

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word curl.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. coil, whorl, roll, curl, curlicue, ringlet, gyre, scrollnoun

    a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles (as formed by leaves or flower petals)

  2. Curl, Robert Curl, Robert F. Curl, Robert Floyd Curl Jr.noun

    American chemist who with Richard Smalley and Harold Kroto discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1933)

  3. lock, curl, ringlet, whorlverb

    a strand or cluster of hair

  4. curl, curve, kinkverb

    form a curl, curve, or kink

    "the cigar smoke curled up at the ceiling"

  5. curl up, curl, draw inverb

    shape one's body into a curl

    "She curled farther down under the covers"; "She fell and drew in"

  6. coil, loop, curlverb

    wind around something in coils or loops

  7. curl, waveverb

    twist or roll into coils or ringlets

    "curl my hair, please"

  8. curlverb

    play the Scottish game of curling


  1. curlnoun

    A piece or lock of curling hair; a ringlet.

  2. curlnoun

    A curved stroke or shape.

  3. curlnoun

    A spin making the trajectory of an object curve.

  4. curlnoun

    Movement of a moving rock away from a straight line.

  5. curlnoun

    Any exercise performed by bending the arm, wrist, or leg on the exertion against resistance, especially those that train the biceps.

  6. curlnoun

    The vector field denoting the rotationality of a given vector field.

    The curl of the vector field uE000125522uE001 is the vector field uE000125523uE001.

  7. curlnoun

    The vector operator, denoted or , that generates this field.

  8. curlnoun

    Any of various diseases of plants causing the leaves or shoots to curl up; often specifically the potato curl.

  9. curlnoun

    The contrasting light and dark figure seen in wood used for stringed instrument making; the flame.

    The one-piece back is of a medium curl.

  10. curlverb

    To cause to move in a curve.

  11. curlverb

    To make into a curl or spiral.

  12. curlverb

    To assume the shape of a curl or spiral.

  13. curlverb

    To move in curves.

  14. curlverb

    To take part in the sport of curling

    I curl at my local club every weekend.

  15. curlverb

    To exercise by bending the arm, wrist, or leg on the exertion against resistance, especially of the biceps.

  16. Etymology: From metathesis of.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Curlnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    She appareled herself like a page, cutting off her hair, leaving nothing but the short curls to cover that noble head. Philip Sidney.

    Just as in act he stood, in clouds enshrin’d,
    Her hand she fasten’d on his hair behind;
    Then backward by his yellow curls she drew
    To him, and him alone confess’d in view. John Dryden, Fables.

    Thus it happens, if the glass of the prisms be free from veins, and their sides be accurately plain and well polished, without those numberless waves or curls, which usually arise from the sand holes, a little smoothed in polishing with putty. Isaac Newton, Opt. Prop. ii. Th. 2.

  2. To CURLverb

    Etymology: kxollen, Dut. cyrran, Sax. krille, Dan.

    What hast thou been? —— —— A serving man, proud in heart and mind, that curled my hair, wore gloves in my cap, served the lust of my mistress’s heart, and did the act of darkness with her. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    If she first meet the curled Antony,
    He’ll make demand of her kiss. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopatra.

    Up the trees
    Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks
    That curl’d Megæra. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x. l. 560.

    The visitation of the winds,
    Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
    Curling their monstrous heads. William Shakespeare, Henry IV. p. ii.

    Seas would be pools, without the brushing air
    To curl the waves. John Dryden, Fables.

  3. To Curlverb

    Those slender aerial bodies are separated and stretched out, which otherwise, by reason of their flexibleness and weight, would flag or curl. Robert Boyle, Spring of the Air.

    To every nobler portion of the town, The curling billows roul their restless tide;
    In parties now they straggle up and down,
    As armies, unoppos’d, for prey divide. Dryden.

    While curling smoaks from village tops are seen. Alexander Pope.

    Then round her slender waist he curl’d,
    And stamp’d an image of himself, a sov’reign of the world. John Dryden, Fables.


  1. CURL

    cURL (pronounced like "curl", UK: /kəːl/, US: /kɝl/) is a computer software project providing a library (libcurl) and command-line tool (curl) for transferring data using various network protocols. The name stands for "Client URL".


  1. curl

    In vector calculus, curl is a vector operator that describes the rotation or circular motion of a vector field in a three-dimensional space. It shows how much and in which direction a vector field is curling or swirling around a given point. It is typically represented by the symbol ∇×. The curl at a point is represented by a vector pointing in the direction of the axis of rotation, with the magnitude determined by the rotation speed.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Curlnoun

    to twist or form into ringlets; to crisp, as the hair

  2. Curlnoun

    to twist or make onto coils, as a serpent's body

  3. Curlnoun

    to deck with, or as with, curls; to ornament

  4. Curlnoun

    to raise in waves or undulations; to ripple

  5. Curlnoun

    to shape (the brim) into a curve

  6. Curlverb

    to contract or bend into curls or ringlets, as hair; to grow in curls or spirals, as a vine; to be crinkled or contorted; to have a curly appearance; as, leaves lie curled on the ground

  7. Curlverb

    to move in curves, spirals, or undulations; to contract in curving outlines; to bend in a curved form; to make a curl or curls

  8. Curlverb

    to play at the game called curling

  9. Curl

    a ringlet, especially of hair; anything of a spiral or winding form

  10. Curl

    an undulating or waving line or streak in any substance, as wood, glass, etc.; flexure; sinuosity

  11. Curl

    a disease in potatoes, in which the leaves, at their first appearance, seem curled and shrunken

  12. Etymology: [Akin to D. krullen, Dan. krlle, dial. Sw. krulla to curl, crisp; possibly akin to E. crook. Cf. Curl, n., Cruller.]


  1. Curl

    In vector calculus, the curl is a vector operator that describes the infinitesimal rotation of a 3-dimensional vector field. At every point in the field, the curl of that field is represented by a vector. The attributes of this vector characterize the rotation at that point. The direction of the curl is the axis of rotation, as determined by the right-hand rule, and the magnitude of the curl is the magnitude of rotation. If the vector field represents the flow velocity of a moving fluid, then the curl is the circulation density of the fluid. A vector field whose curl is zero is called irrotational. The curl is a form of differentiation for vector fields. The corresponding form of the fundamental theorem of calculus is Stokes' theorem, which relates the surface integral of the curl of a vector field to the line integral of the vector field around the boundary curve. The alternative terminology rotor or rotational and alternative notations rot F and ∇ × F are often used for curl and curl F. Unlike the gradient and divergence, curl does not generalize as simply to other dimensions; some generalizations are possible, but only in three dimensions is the geometrically defined curl of a vector field again a vector field. This is a similar phenomenon as in the 3 dimensional cross product, and the connection is reflected in the notation ∇ × for the curl.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. curl

    The bending over or disruption of the ice, causing it to pile. Also, the curl of the surf on the shore.

Suggested Resources

  1. CURL

    What does CURL stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the CURL acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. CURL

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Curl is ranked #6379 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Curl surname appeared 5,335 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Curl.

    82.5% or 4,405 total occurrences were White.
    10.2% or 549 total occurrences were Black.
    3.8% or 206 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.8% or 96 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 44 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.6% or 35 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'curl' in Verbs Frequency: #1022

How to pronounce curl?

How to say curl in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of curl in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of curl in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of curl in a Sentence

  1. Virginia Tech:

    We don't have freshmen on our roster so I don't have to come off of a curl screen, I don't have to teach them to how to get over a ballscreen, they know how to do that, so we can more advanced in what we're doing. We're going to be more complex probably on both ends of the court.

  2. Christopher Robin Miller:

    That's a hint of a whisper of a curl.

  3. Good Foodie founder Yumna Jawad:

    That said, you could get away with just cutting in half instead of in quarters but they will curl less that way.

  4. Jeff Melvoin:

    Rain usually makes me feel mellow. Curl up in the corner time, slow down, smell the furniture. Today it just makes me feel wet.

  5. Scott C. Holstad:

    caffeine fixture, liquid buzz, kinda makes the juices curl inside and out like having a pair of powdery legs wrapped tightly around your neck – strong and just a little wicked

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for curl

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"curl." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/curl>.

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    an impression that something might be the case
    • A. wavering
    • B. crate
    • C. ignominy
    • D. hunch

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