Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “curl”

curl

noun uk   /kɜːl/ us    /kɝːl/
[C or U] a piece of hair that grows or has been formed into a curving shape, or something that is the same shape as this: tight/loose curls Her hair fell in curls over her shoulders. Curls of smoke were rising from the chimney.
Compare
[C or U] the curved shape in which a ball moves when it is hit or kicked in a particular way: The curl on the shot sent it looping around the keeper into the far corner of the net.

curl

verb [I or T] uk   /kɜːl/ us    /kɝːl/
to make something into the shape of a curl, or to grow or change into this shape: Does your hair curl naturally, or is it permed? A new baby will automatically curl its fingers round any object it touches. to make a ball move in a curved shape by hitting or kicking it in a particular way: He curled the ball into the top right hand corner. curl your lip to show by an upward movement of one side of your mouth that you feel no respect for something or someone: Her lip curled at what he said.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of curl from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of curl?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Hair, but you might be interested in these topics from the Personal care topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “curl” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

debut

the occasion when someone performs or presents something to the public for the first time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More