quill

noun
\ ˈkwil How to pronounce quill (audio) \

Definition of quill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 devices
b : 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 tail
b : one of the hollow sharp spines of a porcupine or hedgehog
3 : something made from or resembling the quill of a feather especially : a pen for writing
4 : a float for a fishing line

quill

verb
quilled; quilling; quills

Definition of quill (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Examples of quill in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Think of Dickens and piles of foolscap and quill pens and Bob Cratchit. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: How to punish Todd Ricketts for alleged tax scam? Elect him as congressman or better yet, governor," 4 July 2019 Spend a day in a one room schoolhouse, where quill pens and slates are the writing implements, create a shadow portrait, and take a scenic hike through the Nathan Hale State Forest. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 20 June 2019 Apart from the addition of rippling stars and stripes to Ulysses S. Grant’s fifty, in 2004, and a dapper quill to Franklin’s C-note, in 2009, the designs of American bills have not changed in recent memory. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Haunted Image of Harriet Tubman on the Twenty-Dollar Bill," 18 June 2019 Spend a day in a one room schoolhouse, where quill pens and slates are the writing implements, create a shadow portrait, and take a scenic hike through the Nathan Hale State Forest. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 20 June 2019 Spend a day in a one room schoolhouse, where quill pens and slates are the writing implements, create a shadow portrait, and take a scenic hike through the Nathan Hale State Forest. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 13 June 2019 For the vase: Carousel, a purple quill mum, is an elegant cut flower. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 9 Aug. 2018 Designs varied greatly from tribe to tribe, with elements including porcupine quills and beading, according to Cécile R. Ganteaume, associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian. Rebecca Malinsky, WSJ, "The Ultimate Summer Shoe (It’s Not a Sandal)," 19 July 2018 When selecting varieties, there's wide range of types to pick from: decorative, daisy, and low-growing cushion mums as well as early-blooming anemones, quills, and spiders. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 9 Aug. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of quill

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quill

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about quill

Dictionary Entries near quill

quila

quile

Quileute

quill

Quillacinga

quillai

quillback

Statistics for quill

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quill

The first known use of quill was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for quill

quill

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quill

: 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

noun
\ ˈkwil How to pronounce quill (audio) \

Kids Definition of quill

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on quill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quill

Spanish Central: Translation of quill

Nglish: Translation of quill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quill for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quill

Comments on quill

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

WORD OF THE DAY

appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!