\ ˈkȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce coil (audio) \

Definition of coil

 (Entry 1 of 3)

2 : trouble also : everyday cares and worries when we have shuffled off this mortal coil— William Shakespeare


coiled; coiling; coils

Definition of coil (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to wind into rings or spirals coil a rope
2 : to roll or twist into a shape resembling a coil coiled herself up on the couch

intransitive verb

1 : to move in a circular or spiral course
2 : to form or lie in a coil
plural coils

Definition of coil (Entry 3 of 3)

1a(1) : a series of loops
(2) : spiral
b : a single loop of such a coil
2a : a number of turns of wire wound around a core (as of iron) to create a magnetic field for an electromagnet or an induction coil
3 : a series of connected pipes in rows, layers, or windings
4 : a roll of postage stamps also : a stamp from such a roll
5 medical : intrauterine device That means no condoms, no pills, no coils or sterilization …— Christine M. Flowers The IUD or 'coil' is a small plastic (or plastic and copper) device, not much longer than a match, which is placed inside your womb, where it prevents you from getting pregnant. It's often called a 'coil' because most of the original IUDs were coil-shaped.— David Delvin

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Other Words from coil


coilability \ ˌkȯi-​lə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce coilability (audio) \ noun

Examples of coil in a Sentence

Verb She coiled the loose thread around her finger. A long scarf was coiled around her neck. The cat coiled up into a ball. The snake coiled around its prey.
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First Known Use of coil

Noun (1)

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for coil

Noun (1)

origin unknown


French coillir, cuillir to gather — more at cull

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Cite this Entry

“Coil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coil. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for coil



English Language Learners Definition of coil

: to wind (something) into circles


\ ˈkȯil How to pronounce coil (audio) \

Kids Definition of coil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a circle, a series of circles, or a spiral made by coiling
2 : a long thin piece of material that is wound into circles


coiled; coiling

Kids Definition of coil (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to wind into rings or a spiral coil a rope
2 : to form or lie in a coil The cat coiled up before the fireplace.


\ ˈkȯi(ə)l How to pronounce coil (audio) \

Medical Definition of coil

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More from Merriam-Webster on coil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coil

Spanish Central: Translation of coil

Nglish: Translation of coil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coil for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about coil

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