1. having burls that produce a distorted grain: burled lumber.


  1. a small knot or lump in wool, thread, or cloth.
  2. a dome-shaped growth on the trunk of a tree; a wartlike structure sometimes 2 feet (0.6 meters) across and 1 foot (0.3 meters) or more in height, sliced to make veneer.

verb (used with object)

  1. to remove burls from (cloth) in finishing.


  1. a small knot or lump in wool
  2. a roundish warty outgrowth from the trunk, roots, or branches of certain trees


  1. (tr) to remove the burls from (cloth)

noun informal

  1. Scot, Australian and NZ an attempt; try (esp in the phrase give it a burl)
  2. Australian and NZ a ride in a car

“small knot in wool or cloth,” mid-15c., from Old French bourle “tuft of wool,” which perhaps is related to the root of bur, or from Vulgar Latin *burrula “small flock of wool,” from Late Latin burra “wool.”

  1. A large, rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree. Burls develop from one or more twig buds whose cells continue to multiply but never differentiate so that the twig can elongate into a limb. Burls do not usually cause harm to trees.

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