Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

reel

play
noun \ˈrēl\

Definition of reel

  1. 1 :  a revolvable device on which something flexible is wound: as a :  a small windlass at the butt of a fishing rod for the line b chiefly British :  a spool or bobbin for sewing thread c :  a flanged spool for photographic film; especially :  one for motion pictures

  2. 2 :  a quantity of something wound on a reel



Origin of reel

Middle English, from Old English hrēol; akin to Old Norse hræll weaver's reed, Greek krekein to weave


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms


2

reel

verb

Definition of reel

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to wind on or as if on a reel

  3. 2 :  to draw by reeling a line <reel a fish in>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to turn a reel

reel·able play \ˈrē-lə-bəl\ adjective


14th Century

First Known Use of reel

14th century

Other Hunting and Fishing Terms


3

reel

verb

Definition of reel

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to turn or move round and round b :  to be in a whirl

  3. 2 :  to behave in a violent disorderly manner

  4. 3 :  to waver or fall back (as from a blow)

  5. 4 :  to walk or move unsteadily

  6. transitive verb
  7. :  to cause to reel



Origin of reel

Middle English relen, probably from reel, noun


First Known Use: 14th century


4

reel

noun

Definition of reel

  1. :  a reeling motion



1572

First Known Use of reel

1572


5

reel

noun

Definition of reel

  1. 1 :  a lively Scottish-Highland dance; also :  the music for this dance

  2. 2 :  virginia reel



Origin of reel

probably from 4reel


First Known Use: circa 1585



REEL Defined for Kids

1

reel

play
noun \ˈrēl\

Definition of reel

  1. 1 :  a device that can be turned round and round to wind up something flexible <a fishing rod and reel>

  2. 2 :  a quantity of something wound on a reel <a reel of film>




2

reel

play
verb

Definition of reel

reeledreel·ing

  1. 1 :  to wind on a reel

  2. 2 :  to pull by the use of a reel <I reeled in a fish.>

reel off
  1. :  to say or recite rapidly or easily <He can reel off the answers.>




3

reel

play
verb

Definition of reel

reeledreel·ing

  1. 1 :  to whirl or spin around

  2. 2 :  to be in a confused or dizzy state <Our heads were reeling with excitement.>

  3. 3 :  to fall back suddenly (as after being hit)

  4. 4 :  to walk or move unsteadily :  stagger




4

reel

play
noun

Definition of reel

  1. :  a lively folk dance





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up reel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ