Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To drag upon the ground; drag along with force or violence; trail.
  • To entangle; confuse.
  • To cut a slit in one of the hind legs of (a dead animal), in order to suspend it.
  • To rough-east (a wall) with lime.
  • To be dragged or pulled.
  • To trail; drag one's self.
  • noun The act of dragging.
  • noun Flax, hemp, wool, hair, or other filaments as drawn out or hackled.
  • noun A barb of a feather from a peacock's tail, used as a hackle in dressing fly-hooks. Also herl, hurl.
  • noun Property obtained by means not accounted honorable.
  • noun A considerable but indefinite quantity.
  • noun A leash (three) of hounds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A filamentous substance; especially, the filaments of flax or hemp.
  • noun A barb, or barbs, of a fine large feather, as of a peacock or ostrich, -- used in dressing artificial flies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a fibre, especially a fibre of hemp or flax, or an individual fibre of a feather
  • noun A barb, or barbs, of a fine large feather, as of a peacock or ostrich, used in dressing artificial flies.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Cognate with Middle Low German herle, Low German harle, East Frisian harrel ‘hemp fibre’.

Examples

  • To "harl" is to drag slowly, and with imperfect success; a "harl" of anything expresses defect both in value and form.

    New Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • Here's one from a "harl" commenting on a post by Roy Hattersley on CiF.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • Here's one from a "harl" commenting on a post by Roy Hattersley on CiF.

    The Suffering of Others

  • Perhaps "harl" is a vegan or something but I think it's more likely that s/he's a rabid Islamophobe.

    The Suffering of Others

  • Perhaps "harl" is a vegan or something but I think it's more likely that s/he's a rabid Islamophobe.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • UPDATE: Thanks to Google's sorting algorithm, which is weighted toward newer content, this series is now the #1 return for "harl vincent".

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • UPDATE 2: As of March 2009 Google's sorting algorithm has dropped this series down to the #4 return for "harl vincent".

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • UPDATE 2: As of March 2009 Google's sorting algorithm has dropped this series down to the #4 return for "harl vincent".

    A look at "Terrors Unseen"

  • UPDATE: Thanks to Google's sorting algorithm, which is weighted toward newer content, this series is now the #1 return for "harl vincent".

    A look at "Terrors Unseen"

  • _ -- The Peacock Harl -- dubbed with ruddy peacock's harl, warped with green silk, and a red cock's hackle over that.

    The Teesdale Angler

Comments

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  • This word was chosen as Wordnik word of the day.

    November 11, 2009

  • I am impressed that a word I have never before encountered has twelve distinct definitions. It is strange that I have never had occasion to use any of them. It is embarrassing to confess that I have never had to rough-east a wall, slit a dead beast’s hind leg to prepare it for hanging or walked my leash of three hounds. I must reform.

    Sometimes senses are found all a-snarl,

    Twisted together and bound in a gnarl.

    As you tug them asunder

    You can't help but wonder

    How so many meanings wound up in harl.

    May 24, 2014