From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Daily life
pearlpearl /pɜːl $ pɜːrl/ ●●○ noun 1 jewel [countable] a small round white object that forms inside an oyster, and is a valuable jewel a pearl necklace a string of pearls (=a necklace made of pearls)2 hard substance [uncountable]DDECORATE a hard shiny substance of various colours formed inside some shellfish, which is used for making buttons or to make objects look attractive SYN mother-of-pearl3 pearls of wisdom4 cast/throw pearls before swine5 liquid [countable] literaryALLIQUID a small round drop of liquid the pearls of the morning dew6 excellent thing/person [countable usually singular] old-fashionedGOOD/EXCELLENT someone or something that is especially good or valuablepearl among She’s a pearl among women.
Examples from the Corpus
pearlpearl buttonsPearls of dew sparkled on the grass.a pearl-colored dressa pearl of a wifeYou show me a tweed-skirted twinset and pearl wearer, and I guarantee there's a scarlet bustier pulsating beneath.He noticed she was wearing a string of cheap pearls about her neck.Island craftsmen make everything from leather goods and raffia to local pottery and beautiful hand-made jewellery using the famous Majorcan pearls.a string of pearlsIf their complexion was their most celebrated feature, then perhaps a long necklace of perfect pearls.The sight of those fracturing red pearls comforted Gao Ma.pearl necklaceA pearl necklace had broken and two liveried servants scrabbled on hands and knees to retrieve the jewels.Anne's pearl necklace adorned her throat, and her gold ring the third finger of Joan's left hand.It's as if somebody put June Cleaver's pearl necklace and apron on Madonna.She washed clothes and dealt in smuggled electronic goods, rabbit-fur hats, sunflower seeds, pearl necklaces and noodles.In her most notorious photographs she wears only her triple-string pearl necklace.
Origin pearl (1300-1400) Old French perle, from Vulgar Latin pernula, from Latin perna mussel