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purl (v.1)

"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), probably from Middle English pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but even this is not certain. Klein suggests a source in Italian pirolare "to twirl," from pirolo "top." As a noun, from late 14c. as "bordering, frills," 1530s as "twisted thread of gold and silver."

purl (v.2)

"flow with a murmuring sound," 1580s, imitative, perhaps from a Scandinavian language. Related: Purled; purling.

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Definitions of purl from WordNet
1
purl (v.)
flow in a circular current, of liquids;
Synonyms: eddy / whirlpool / swirl / whirl
purl (v.)
make a murmuring sound;
the water was purling
Synonyms: sough
purl (v.)
knit with a purl stitch;
purl (v.)
edge or border with gold or silver embroidery;
purl (v.)
embroider with gold or silver thread;
2
purl (n.)
gold or silver wire thread;
purl (n.)
a basic knitting stitch made by putting the needle through the front of the stich from the righthand side;
Synonyms: purl stitch
From wordnet.princeton.edu