Definition of nurdle in English:



usually nurdles
  • A very small pellet of plastic which serves as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products.

    • ‘"Mermaids' tears" are small plastic pellets of waste (also known as nurdles) that wash up on beaches and look like plastic fish eggs.’
    • ‘Japanese researchers are finding high concentrations of deadly chemicals clinging to floating, tapioca-size plastic pellets called ‘nurdles’.’
    • ‘Moore collected baseball-size gelatinous animals called salps and found their translucent tissues clogged with bits of monofilament fishing line and nurdles.’
    • ‘The problem with nurdles specifically is at least two-fold.’
    • ‘Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or nurdles, are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea.’
    • ‘One study estimated that nurdles now account for 10 percent of plastic ocean debris.’
    • ‘Approximately 60 billion pounds of nurdles are manufactured annually in the United States alone.’


1990s origin uncertain.