spindle

noun
spin·​dle | \ ˈspin-dᵊl How to pronounce spindle (audio) \

Definition of spindle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a round stick with tapered ends used to form and twist the yarn in hand spinning
b : the long slender pin by which the thread is twisted in a spinning wheel
c : any of various rods or pins holding a bobbin in a textile machine (such as a spinning frame)
d : the pin in a loom shuttle
e : a device usually consisting of a long upright pin in a base on which papers can be stuck for filing

called also spindle file

2 : something shaped like a spindle: such as
a : a spindle-shaped network of chiefly microtubular fibers along which the chromosomes are distributed during mitosis and meiosis
3a : the bar or shaft usually of square section that carries the knobs and actuates the latch or bolt of a lock
b(1) : a turned often decorative piece (as in a baluster)
(2) : newel
c(1) : a revolving piece especially when thinner than a shaft
(2) : a horizontal or vertical axle revolving on pin or pivot ends
d : the part of an axle on which a vehicle wheel turns

spindle

verb
spindled; spindling\ ˈspin(d)-​liŋ How to pronounce spindling (audio) , ˈspin-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of spindle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to shoot or grow into a long slender stalk
2 : to grow to stalk or stem rather than to flower or fruit

transitive verb

1 : to impale, thrust, or perforate on the spike of a spindle file
2 : to make or equip (something, such as a piece of furniture) with spindles

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from spindle

Verb

spindler \ ˈspin(d)-​lər How to pronounce spindler (audio) , ˈspin-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Examples of spindle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An officer with the Edmond Police Department testified Alden had enough recordings to fill 12 compact disc spindles. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "Home Security System Installer Put Secret Cameras in Girls' Bathrooms, Gets Life in Prison," 22 Aug. 2019 Early on, the squiggling line of an EEG readout starts to form kinks called sleep spindles, unfurling across the glowing screens inside sleep labs. Quanta Magazine, "Researchers Tap a Sleep Switch in the Brain," 14 Feb. 2017 The benches were made of steel and the spindles on them were originally part of the gate at his grandmother’s house. Lyndi Mcnulty, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "An Eye for Art: Manchester artist fell in love with making ‘something cool out of nothing’," 14 Aug. 2019 Items discovered during the excavation include soapstone from the Shetland Islands, pottery and a bone spindle whorl. Fox News, "Viking drinking hall discovered on remote Scottish island," 8 Aug. 2019 But one of its spindles was deeply cracked and a piece knocked out while being shipped home by UPS. Sean P. Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "Home security system proved anything but," 21 July 2019 It was equipped with the latest open-end spindles for spinning yarn, but the cloth the plant produced was for export to China — that is, until the tariff wars wiped out $40 million in sales last year. Don Lee, latimes.com, "Casualty of trade war: Chinese investments in U.S. grind to a halt, blocking new jobs," 1 July 2019 The weighted spindle would spin and twist fibers into yarn. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "19th century life showcased in Avon Lake’s Hike Into History," 16 June 2019 Paths 7, a repudiation of this regret, takes the form of a strikingly symmetrical pile of gold leaf situated just beneath the tip of a drop spindle pendulum. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "These Engaging, Immersive Works Erase the Line Between Art and Audience," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spindle.' 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 spindle

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1577, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for spindle

Noun

Middle English spindel, from Old English spinel; akin to Old English spinnan to spin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spindle

Statistics for spindle

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spindle

The first known use of spindle was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spindle

spindle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spindle

: a thin rod or stick with pointed ends that is used in making yarn
: the long, thin pin on a spinning wheel that is used to make thread
: something shaped like a long, thin rod especially : a long, thin part of a machine which turns around something or around which something turns

spindle

noun
spin·​dle | \ ˈspin-dəl How to pronounce spindle (audio) \

Kids Definition of spindle

1 : a slender round rod or stick with narrowed ends by which thread is twisted in spinning and on which it is wound
2 : something (as an axle or shaft) which has a slender round shape and on which something turns

spindle

noun
spin·​dle | \ ˈspin-dᵊl How to pronounce spindle (audio) \

Medical Definition of spindle

1 : something shaped like a round stick or pin with tapered ends: as
a : a network of chiefly microtubular fibers along which the chromosomes are distributed during mitosis and meiosis

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on spindle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spindle

Spanish Central: Translation of spindle

Nglish: Translation of spindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spindle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spindle

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

WORD OF THE DAY

friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!