A shelly concretion, usually rounded, and having a brilliant luster, with varying tints, found in the mantle, or between the mantle and shell, of certain bivalve mollusks, especially in the pearl oysters and river mussels, and sometimes in certain univalves. It is usually due to a secretion of shelly substance around some irritating foreign particle. Its substance is the same as nacre, or mother-of-pearl. Pearls which are round, or nearly round, and of fine luster, are highly esteemed as jewels, and compare in value with the precious stones.
Hence, figuratively, something resembling a pearl; something very precious.
Nacre, or mother-of-pearl.
A fish allied to the turbot; the brill.
A light-colored tern.
One of the circle of tubercles which form the bur on a deer's antler.
A whitish speck or film on the eye.
A capsule of gelatin or similar substance containing some liquid for medicinal application, as ether.
A size of type, between agate and diamond.
Of or pertaining to pearl or pearls; made of pearls, or of mother-of-pearl.
To set or adorn with pearls, or with mother-of-pearl. Used also figuratively.
To cause to resemble pearls; to make into small round grains; as, to pearl barley.
Some calamities - the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 - have come like summer lightning, as bolts from the blue. The looming crisis of America's Ponzi entitlement structure is different. Driven by the demographics of an aging population, its causes, timing and scope are known. George Will
There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify - so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish. John Keats
History demonstrates that previous military drawdowns invited aggression by our enemies. After World War I, America drew down forces until the U.S. Army had fewer than 100,000 men in uniform. That weakness invited Nazi aggression in Europe and the imperial Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Frank Gaffney
All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography. Federico Fellini
Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare - and precious as a pearl. Tahar Ben Jelloun