Definition of quill
1a (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 devicesb : a roll of dried bark cinnamon quills
2a (1) : the hollow horny shaft of a feather — see feather illustration (2) : feather; especially : one of the large stiff feathers of the wing or tailb : one of the hollow sharp spines of a porcupine or hedgehogc : 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
The quill forms a few letters, then pauses and scratches them out.
The rest of the body will look like it is covered in primitive, quill-like feathers.
Ripped apart like thick alabaster pages and bleeding like ink from a quill.
Separately, Yondu (Michael Rooker), the thief who raised Quill, can’t stand that he’s fallen out of favor with his father figure, gang boss Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone).
Dark wood desks were filled with letters ready to be mailed, addressed using quill and ink.
Thankfully, there are no scenes of Emily Dickinson agonizing to express herself with a quill in her hand.
A Torah scribe, called a sofer, writes the entire scroll by hand using a feather quill and ink, copying exactly from another scroll right next to it.
Luxuriant quills sprouted along its tail like bristles from a toothbrush.
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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of quill
1 : to pierce with quills
2a : to wind (thread or yarn) on a quillb : to make a series of small rounded ridges in (cloth)
First Known Use of quill
QUILL Defined for English Language Learners
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
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
Seen and Heard
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