pearl [-s] n

ME < Fr. perle.

  1. Round ball that divers extract from oysters in the depths of the sea; [fig.] soul; mortal; human being; child of God; (see Matthew 13:45-46).
  2. Abalone; mother-of-pearl; lustrous white decorative matter from the inner side of an oyster shell; [fig.] celestial material; heavenly whiteness; that which adorns the gates of heaven; (see Revelation 21:21).
  3. Valuable white gem; precious iridescent bead.
  4. Gift; [fig.] being; precious soul; beloved person; rare opportunity to love and be loved.
  5. Prize; precious object; valuable thing.
  6. Treasure; natural gem; [fig.] truth; reality; substantial matters; real essence; [metaphor] paradise; heaven; immortality; eternal life.
  7. Sun; sunlight; sunshine; ball of light; radiant solar globe that sustains life on earth; [metaphor] love; gospel; promise of redemption; [allusion] see Browning's Paracelsus.
  8. White bloom; precious flower; beautiful blossom.
  9. Wedding ring; gem in a gift of jewelry; [fig.] honorable name; marriage vow; gift of love; joy resulting from wifehood; symbol of status as a married woman in society; token of purity, fidelity, loyalty, and commitment; [metaphor] joyous moment; precious time of happiness in marriage.
  10. Foam; spume; silvery seawater.
  11. Whiteness; iridescent thread spun by a spider.
  12. Rich melody; clear tone; exquisite music.
  13. Secret; confidential matter; object that oysters form imperceptibly in the ocean within their shells; [fig.] truth hidden from the knowledge of humankind; private pain that eventually yields enormous gain.
  14. White material; spotless clothing used to adorn the dead.

pearl adj

see pearl, n.

  1. Transparent; white; celestial; adorned with pearls; [fig.] deceased; immortal.