1

quill

noun \ ˈkwil \

Definition of quill

1 a (1) :a bobbin, spool, or spindle on which filling yarn is wound
(2) :a hollow shaft often surrounding another shaft and used in various mechanical devices
b :a roll of dried bark
  • cinnamon quills
2 a (1) :the hollow horny shaft of a feather — see feather illustration
(2) :feather; especially :one of the large stiff feathers of the wing or tail
b :one of the hollow sharp spines of a porcupine or hedgehog
c :3pen 3
3 :something made from or resembling the quill of a feather; especially :a pen for writing
4 :a float for a fishing line

Recent Examples of quill from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of quill

Middle English quil hollow reed, bobbin; akin to Middle High German kil large feather


2

quill

verb

Definition of quill

transitive verb
1 :to pierce with quills
2 a :to wind (thread or yarn) on a quill
b :to make a series of small rounded ridges in (cloth)

First Known Use of quill

1607


QUILL Defined for English Language Learners

quill

noun

Definition of quill for English Language Learners

  • : the hollow central part of a feather

  • : a large, stiff feather from the wing or tail of a bird

  • : a pen that is made from a feather


QUILL Defined for Kids

quill

noun \ ˈkwil \

Definition of quill for Students

1 :a large stiff feather of a bird's wing or tail
2 :the hollow tubelike part of a feather
3 :a hollow sharp spine of a porcupine or hedgehog
4 :a pen made from a feather


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