skein

noun
\ ˈskān How to pronounce skein (audio) \

Definition of skein

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 or less commonly skean or skeane \ ˈskān How to pronounce skeane (audio) \ : a loosely coiled length of yarn or thread wound on a reel
2 : something suggesting the twists or coils of a skein : tangle
3 : a flock of wildfowl (such as geese or ducks) in flight

skein

verb
skeined; skeining; skeins

Definition of skein (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to wind into skeins skein yarn

Examples of skein in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hanks, skeins and balls — from cloud-soft kid mohair to slightly felted, neon yellow merino wool from Uruguay to beginner-friendly, spaghetti-thick acrylics — pack the cubbyholes that hug the walls in the shop on Red Hill Avenue. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Of earls and purls: Costa Mesa knitting group makes accessories to look the part at ‘Downton Abbey’ showing," 13 Sep. 2019 The plane cut through a skein of dark-gray cloud, through a layer of liquid light, into another cloud that started as dark as steel wool, then thickened to gray and turned slowly white. Anne Enright, The New Yorker, "The Weight," 29 Aug. 2019 San Francisco has a new interim transportation chief to oversee its multigenerational stock of Muni vehicles, its expanding skein of bike lanes and its menagerie of two-wheeled devices, among other things. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "SF Muni board taps Maguire as interim chief during search for leader," 10 July 2019 In the rear, scores of electrical cords sprawled across the floor keep the heaters and lights humming, a tangle that recalls the jumbled skeins of paint in a Jackson Pollock drip painting. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "MOCA on the rebound? Three strong shows and free entry are welcome signs of change," 12 June 2019 Where another granny might clutch her knitting needle and skein of yarn, Neel has a paintbrush and a white painter’s rag. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Searching for Myself in Alice Neel’s Radical Portraits," 26 Feb. 2019 The story’s fabric is woven throughout with the steadily fraying skein of Jewish teaching and observance. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "On Stage, a Capitalist Morality Tale With Questions for Today," 19 Oct. 2018 Dancing across the top three panels is an undulating horizontal red skein. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "At Blum & Poe, bow down to the ecstatic painting of Mimi Lauter," 30 May 2018 Cardboard trays, gathered in one sector, hold scraps of natural materials — a skein of wool, desiccated plant matter. Charles Desmarais, SFChronicle.com, "Charles Desmarais’ art pick for July 15: Susanne Kriemann’s ‘Canopy, canopy’," 7 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of skein

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1775, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for skein

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for skein

Time Traveler

The first known use of skein was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Skein.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skeins. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for skein

skein

noun
How to pronounce skein (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of skein

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

skein

noun
\ ˈskān How to pronounce skein (audio) \

Kids Definition of skein

: a quantity of yarn or thread arranged in a loose coil

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More from Merriam-Webster on skein

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skein

Spanish Central: Translation of skein

Nglish: Translation of skein for Spanish Speakers

Comments on skein

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