Meaning of “curl” in the English Dictionary

"curl" in English

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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.

UK also curve [ 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.

curlverb [ 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 verb(s)

(Definition of “curl” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"curl" in American English

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curlnoun [ C/U ]

us /kɜrl/

a piece of hair having a curving shape, like part of a circle, or something else having a circular shape:

[ C ] He loved that dark curl at the back of her neck.
[ C ] We watched the curls of smoke rise from his pipe.

curlverb [ I/T ]

us /kɜrl/

to form or cause something to form a curving or twisted shape:

[ T ] If I don’t curl my hair, it looks too stringy.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “curl” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)