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


spindled; spindling\ ˈspin(d)-​liŋ How to pronounce spindle (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

Other Words from spindle


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

Examples of spindle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The fanciful homes were often fronted by bay windows and a wraparound porch with wood spindle railings. oregonlive, 21 June 2022 One carpet is attached to the wall on a spindle, as if to say that the carpets are not precious, but sold off the rack by the yard. New York Times, 30 June 2022 The pine spindle bed in this Vermont house's master bedroom is classic farmhouse, while the wallpaper helps give it a modern touch. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 23 June 2022 Simply place the platter on the spindle and pull the belt out slightly at the top corner to pull it over the motor pulley. Brad Moon, Forbes, 7 May 2022 About a third of the display is wrapped around a spindle at the bottom, facing backward. Chris Smith, BGR, 9 May 2022 The lighting signature is similar to other Lexus models, and its grille features the brand's distinctive spindle design, but something's different. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 20 Apr. 2022 The front is aggressive with that huge spindle grille, with the hood raised nearly two inches, while the front bumper and fenders have been lengthened to accommodate that V8. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 The younger daughter picked out sweet floral wallpaper, an Arts and Crafts-style spindle bed and a pink duvet. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of spindle


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


1577, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for spindle


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

Learn More About spindle

Time Traveler for spindle

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near spindle

spin control



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spindle

Last Updated

17 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spindle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spindle. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for spindle


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


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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