Date: 1300-1400
Origin: crul 'curly' (1300-1400), probably from Middle Dutch


1 verb
curl1 [intransitive and transitive]
1CF to form a twisted or curved shape, or to make something do this:
Mary was busy curling her hair.
curl around/round
Ivy curled round the tree.
2 [always + adverb/preposition] to move, forming a twisted or curved shape, or to make something do this
curl across/along etc
Morning mists curled across the river.
curl something around/round/over etc something
He curled his arm around Claudia's waist.
3 if you curl your lip, or if your lip curls, you move it upwards and sideways, to show that you disapprove of someone or something:
Her lip curled in contempt.

➔ make somebody's toes curl

at toe1 (5)

; ➔ make your hair curl

at hair (9)

curl up

phrasal verb
1 to move so that you are lying or sitting with your arms and legs bent close to your body:
I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep.
Sarah was curled up on the sofa.
2 if something flat curls up, its edges start to become curved and point upwards:
The letter was now yellow and beginning to curl up.


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