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Definitions

from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A knot, lump, or slub in yarn or cloth.
  • n. A large rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree.
  • n. The wood cut from such an outgrowth, often used decoratively as a veneer.
  • transitive v. To dress or finish (cloth) by removing knots, lumps, slubs, or loose threads.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner.
  • n. Wood of a mottled veneer, usually cut from such a growth.
  • n. A knot or lump in thread or cloth.
  • v. To remove the knots in cloth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A knot or lump in thread or cloth.
  • n. An overgrown knot, or an excrescence, on a tree; also, veneer made from such excrescences.
  • transitive v. To dress or finish up (cloth); to pick knots, burs, loose threads, etc., from, as in finishing cloth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pick knots, loose threads, etc., from, as in finishing cloth; specifically, to pick (wool) by hand.
  • To cleanse (cloth), as with fullers' earth or a similar substance.
  • To welter.
  • Same as birl.
  • n. A small knot or lump in thread, whether woven into cloth or not.
  • n. A knot or an excrescence on walnut and other trees, used for ornamental veneering.
  • n. A pimple.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. remove the burls from cloth
  • n. soft lump or unevenness in a yarn; either an imperfection or created by design
  • n. a large rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree
  • n. the wood cut from a tree burl or outgrowth; often used decoratively in veneer

Etymologies

Middle English burle, from Old French bourle, tuft of wool, diminutive of bourre, coarse wool, from Late Latin burra, shaggy garment.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English burleĀ ("stuffing", "knot in cloth") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Good of you. One needs one's burl at hand.

    April 8, 2009

  • My neighbor's cube used to have a Memorial Burl on top of it. He left his job, and about a year later we mailed him the burl.

    April 7, 2009