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1A hard, lustrous spherical mass, typically white or bluish-gray, formed within the shell of a pearl oyster or other bivalve mollusk and highly prized as a gem.
best, finest, top, pick, choice, choicest, prime, cream, prize, treasure, pearl, gem, jewel, the jewel in the crown, the crème de la crème, first class, elite, electView synonyms
- ‘Within it, there are gems, rubies, pearls and flawless diamonds.’
- ‘Next was another necklace - no, a choker - which was made of orange jewels and white pearls.’
- ‘The hem was trimmed with white beads, and pearls and rubies framed the neck.’
- ‘It's all about defending the shiny bejeweled palace on the hill and guarding the precious pearls and birthstones hidden within.’
- ‘She wore a crisp business suit, which was shown off by a pearl necklace and matching earrings.’
- ‘He pulled out magnificent earrings with glistening pearls and emeralds dripping from them and then a glass cup with painted mermaids on it.’
- ‘She wore a pearl charm bracelet on her wrist and bounded down the stairs.’
- ‘Her matching pearl earrings and necklace elegantly decorated her.’
- ‘Dawson brought from his jacket pocket the ring that Edric had spent months saving for, white gold with a pearl in the center that would match her wedding dress splendidly.’
- ‘She even had on a pearl necklace and earrings to match.’
- ‘He could see the potential for lobster farming and later in Australia would experiment with the aquaculture of oysters, pearls, and pearl shells.’
- ‘Some of the antique jewellery was studded with emeralds, ruby, zircons and pearls.’
- ‘It's a pair of pearl and diamond earrings and an 18 carat gold bangle.’
- ‘In fact, the only piece of jewelry that she wore was a pearl necklace, matching pearl earrings, and a gold wedding ring encasing a ruby.’
- ‘She had changed from her khaki uniform to a more casual blue slacks, white pullover sweater and blue shoes, pearl earrings and a pearl necklace.’
- ‘The center jewel was a white pearl, large and round.’
- ‘Unconsciously, her hands worked to take off her small pearl earrings as she entered her room and closed the door behind her.’
- ‘A simple rhinestone or pearl necklace and earring set will enhance the look of your maids.’
- ‘The dress had a pair of arm-length gloves, a pearl necklace and earrings, and a pair of glass high-heel dress shoes.’
- ‘I always called the white flowers diamonds or pearls.’
- 1.1 An artificial imitation of this.
- ‘He experimented with the artificial culture of pearls, by inserting grit to act as a nucleus around which the new pearl would form.’
- ‘The set created by William II is comprised of a sword, an orb, a scepter and crown - all of silver gilt and set with imitation stones and pearls.’
- ‘Do you want natural, cultured, or imitation pearls?’
- ‘In her ears, were large pearls, obviously fakes, and she had a faux-pearl necklace to match.’
- 1.2pearls A necklace of pearls.
- ‘She wore a particularly colourful twinset and pearls.’
- ‘Always bedecked in classic pearls, a sparkling brooch, and a cozy cardigan, she clearly has accessorizing down pat.’
- ‘Ditch the summer's clunky ethnic beads for lady-like pearls, vintage jewellery, an old-fashioned handbag, leather gloves and a flash of stocking.’
- ‘She admits she was frumpish, in twinset and pearls, when she first met John.’
- ‘Also on display are stringed natural pearls and chains with lockets that have American diamonds laid on silver plated with gold.’
- ‘Jewellery, including pearls and tiaras, is available for hire or purchase.’
- ‘But I hasten to add that he is rarely ‘in charge’ in a way that would make me come off as a simpering blonde Liberal Party wife wearing a pink twin set and pearls.’
- ‘Thankfully there are no bare naked ladies at the Thirsk office, but neither are there any twin sets and pearls, not even a tweed skirt.’
- ‘How did we ever survive all those evenings of ‘plastic pottery’ and the unending blether from the representative, clad of course in the obligatory twin set and pearls?’
- ‘First we had the 45-year-old mother-of-two in twinset and pearls doing readings from her new children's book to a class of primary kids.’
- ‘Like the sun in the morning and the moon at night, we expect the Tories to stick to their twinsets and pearls.’
- ‘Men must wear a jacket and tie, and it would appear that some obscure rule forces all the women to wear a floral twin set and pearls.’
- ‘She wears twinsets and pearls, smiles graciously and says very little.’
- 1.3 Something resembling a pearl in appearance.‘the sweat stood in pearls along his forehead’
- ‘When I was walking home, the moon was simply gigantic; it was a luminous, celestial pearl.’
- ‘Suddenly the fleece jacket on your arm, well used in colder climes, weighs heavy and pearls of sweat appear on your brow.’
- ‘The way it would warm cold and clammy skin, or make a pearl of sweat roll down my face.’
- ‘He closed his eyes; a pearl of sweat ran down his face.’
- ‘My skin was pale and clammy, and was covered in tiny pearls of sweat that slacked my hair into a messy drip.’
- 1.4short for mother-of-pearl
- 1.5 A very pale bluish gray or white like the color of a pearl.
- ‘Fashion critics adore her dresses in hand-dyed shades of pearl, frost, teal, grey and chocolate, worn over silk slip dresses.’
- ‘Variations of green, pale and gentle, or a shimmer of apricot or pearl can perfectly set a great reading mood for pages with heavy content.’
- ‘Its hues were of white, pearl, and alabaster, and it shone with pristine care and impeccable architecture.’
- ‘There are five color options: nighthawk black pearl, opal beige, redrock pearl, satin silver metallic and silverstone metallic.’
- ‘Call it what you will - lily white, creamy white, porcelain or pearl - I am still ghostly pale.’
2A precious thing; the finest example of something.‘the nation's media were assembled to hear his pearls of wisdom’
finest example, finest specimen, choicest example, choicest specimen, best example, best specimen, showpiece, pearl, flower, pride, pride and joy, cream, crème de la crème, jewel in the crown, nonpareil, glory, wonder, prize, boast, pickView synonyms
- ‘Even if they do, it's your Libran duty to transmute this irritating grit into your own precious pearl of personal wisdom.’
- ‘As Fr Brian says every child is a precious pearl and deserves to be treated as such.’
- ‘Ladies and gentlemen, now welcome the loveliest pearl in our ocean, Yvonne.’
1literary Form pearllike drops.‘the juice on the blade pearled into droplets’
- ‘Blood pearled around the shaft of the arrow, bright red, and swelled there like a parasite until it crept down her cheek.’
- ‘A hiccup broke his voice as tears pearled at the rim of his eyes.’
- ‘The perfect pear drop of a tear pearled at the side of his face.’
- 1.1[with object] Make bluish-gray like a pearl.‘the peaked hills, blue and pearled with clouds’
2usually as noun pearlingDive or fish for pearl oysters.
- ‘As soon as he realized the value that foreigners placed on pearls, he reserved pearling in Pearl Harbor for himself and employed commoners to dive.’
- ‘Aside from Dubai City, a trading center which was then by far the largest town, they subsisted primarily on date production, fishing, pearling, and, for some centuries, piracy.’
- ‘Fishing is one of the oldest industries in Kuwait, as are pearling and shipbuilding.’
- ‘Not so long ago trochus shelling, along with pearling and the taking of the sea cucumber were important fishery industries along the Great Barrier Reef and to the north and west of Australia.’
pearls before swine
Valuable things offered or given to people who do not appreciate them.
- ‘Oh, but even as I write I can't shake the feeling that I'm casting pearls before swine; that you don't believe a word of this, that you remain suspicious of my motives.’
- ‘As a general rule, I advise against casting pearls before swine.’
- ‘It was a true case of casting pearls before swine.’
Late Middle English: from Old French perle, perhaps based on Latin perna leg extended to denote a leg-of-mutton-shaped bivalve.
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