Relating to or resembling or made of or adorned with pearls or mother-of-pearl.
ETYM Old Eng. perle, French perle, Late Lat. perla, perula, probably from (assumed) Latin pirulo, dim. of Latin pirum a pear. Related to Pear, Purl to mantle.
A smooth lustrous round structure inside the shell of a clam or oyster; much valued as a jewel.
Shiny, hard, rounded abnormal growth composed of nacre (or mother-of-pearl), a chalky substance. Nacre is secreted by many mollusks, and deposited in thin layers on the inside of the shell around a parasite, a grain of sand, or some other irritant body. After several years of the mantle (the layer of tissue between the shell and the body mass) secreting this nacre, a pearl is formed.
Although commercially valuable pearls are obtained from freshwater mussels and oysters, most precious pearls come from the various species of the family Pteriidae (the pearl oysters) found in tropical waters off N and W Australia, off the Californian coast, in the Persian Gulf, and in the Indian Ocean. Because of their rarity, large mussel pearls of perfect shape are worth more than those from oysters.
Artificial pearls were first cultivated in Japan in 1893. A tiny bead of shell from a clam, plus a small piece of membrane from another pearl oyster's mantle (to stimulate the secretion of nacre) is inserted in oysters kept in cages in the sea for three years, and then the pearls are harvested.
1. City in Mississippi (USA); zip code 39208.
2. Village in Illinois (USA); zip code 62361.
1. To set or adorn with pearls
2. To sprinkle or bead with pearly drops
3. To form into small round grains
4. To give a pearly color or luster to
5. To gather pearls, from oysters in the ocean.