Definition of pirl in English:



British Regional, Scottish
  • 1with object To twist, wind, or spin (threads, fibres, wires, etc.) into cord, braid, net, etc.

  • 2no object To whirl; to revolve rapidly, spin.

  • 3with object To cause to revolve, to spin, roll; to throw or toss with spinning motion.


Early 16th century; earliest use found in John Skelton (c1460–1529), poet. Origin uncertain; perhaps ultimately showing two or more words of separate origin; perhaps (partly) imitative. Attested earliest in pirling, which in its earliest sense apparently shows sense 3a. With sense 1 compare purl, purl, which apparently show senses developed ultimately from this word.