noun \ˈskān\

: a long piece of yarn or thread that is loosely wound

Full Definition of SKEIN

also skean or skeane \ˈskān\ :  a loosely coiled length of yarn or thread wound on a reel
:  something suggesting the twists or coils of a skein :  tangle
:  a flock of wildfowl (as geese or ducks) in flight

Origin of SKEIN

Middle English skeyne, from Middle French (Picard) escagne, probably from Vulgar Latin *scamnia, from *scamniare to wind yarn, from *scamnium rack for holding bobbins, from Latin scamnum bench, stool — more at shambles
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, clutch, covey, hackle, ratite, rictus, ruff, zygodactyl


transitive verb

Definition of SKEIN

:  to wind into skeins <skein yarn>

First Known Use of SKEIN

circa 1775


Next Word in the Dictionary: skeiner
Previous Word in the Dictionary: skeily
All Words Near: skein

Seen & Heard

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