American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To finish or decorate the border or edge of.
- n. An ornamental border or edging.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To ornament or decorate with a wrought or flowered border; border. Specifically — To embroider on the edge or margin.
- To edge with fur.
- To line with fur: as, a mantling purfled and bordered vair.
- In heraldry, to decorate with gold mountings, such as the studs or bosses in armor, as in the phrase “a leg in armor proper, purfled or.”
- In architecture, to decorate richly, as with sculpture.
- In viol-making, to decorate (the edges of the body of an instrument) with a wavy inlay of valuable wood.
- To mark or draw in profile.
- To hem a border.
- n. A decorated or wrought border; a border of embroidered work.
- n. Specifically, in heraldry, a border of one of the furs: not common, for a border purfle ermine means no more than a border ermine. An attempt has been made to discriminate the number of rows of the bells of the fur by the terms purfled, counter-purfled, and vair, for one, two, and three rows. It is not usual.
- n. An ornamental border on clothing, furniture or a violin; beading, stringing.
- v. transitive, archaic To decorate (wood, cloth etc.) with a purfle or ornamental border; to border.
- v. heraldry, transitive To ornament with a bordure of ermines, furs, etc. or with gold studs or mountings.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To decorate with a wrought or flowered border; to embroider; to ornament with metallic threads.
- v. (Her.) To ornament with a bordure of emines, furs, and the like; also, with gold studs or mountings.
- n. A hem, border., or trimming, as of embroidered work.
- n. (Her.) A border of any heraldic fur.
- From Old French porfiler, from Latin pro- + filum ("thread"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English purfilen, from Old French porfiler, from Vulgar Latin *prōfīlāre : Latin prō-, forth; see pro-1 + Latin fīlum, thread; see gwhī- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“For a while they followed a mountain stream edged with a lacy purfle of winter's last ice.”
“Well, said Arthur, thou hast said thy message, the which is the most villainous and lewdest message that ever man heard sent unto a king; also thou mayest see my beard is full young yet to make a purfle of it.”
“CRUDOR _ (Sir) _, the knight who told Bria'na he would not marry her till she brought him enough hair, consisting of ladies 'locks and the beards of knights to purfle his cloak with.”
“Hast aught plotting in the hem of thy purfle, or in thy holiday ruff and fardingale?”
“If he can raise a purfle author's laws practically 200,000 places in Amazon's society with”
“Whatever is chosen would also have some type of purfle along the edge and on the top side as I always do.”
“_to purfle_ survives in the contracted form _to purl_, and is cognate with profile = a front line or edge. ~shew~: here rhymes with _dew_; comp. l.”
“Well," said Arthur, "thou hast said thy message, the which is the most villainous and lewdest message that ever man heard sent unto a king; also thou mayest see my beard is full young yet to make a purfle of it.”
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