\ ˈspül How to pronounce spool (audio) \

Definition of spool

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cylindrical device which has a rim or ridge at each end and an axial hole for a pin or spindle and on which material (such as thread, wire, or tape) is wound
2 : material or the amount of material wound on a spool


spooled; spooling; spools

Definition of spool (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to wind on a spool
2 : wind spool the thread off the bobbin
3 : to regulate the transmission of by means of a spooler spool data

intransitive verb

1 : to wind itself on a spool
2 : to be wound or unwound
3 : to regulate data flow by means of a spooler

Examples of spool in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Taking a cue from the Frog Bridge in Willimantic, where four ornamental 11-foot-high metal frogs were installed atop massive concrete sculptures of thread spools. Don Stacom, courant.com, "‘Beehive Bridge’ giving a new look to New Britain," 1 July 2019 One of Francine Haskins’s pieces includes some of the things used to make cloth items, such as spools, buttons, a tape measure and two pairs of scissors. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Cold War ignites inspiration for Culture House DC artist," 14 June 2019 Chromatin is built when DNA winds around millions of spool-like protein structures called nucleosomes. Quanta Magazine, "Genetic Geometry Takes Shape," 25 Feb. 2015 The only assembly required to get the printer up and running is attaching the spool of PLA filament and snapping the extruder into place. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Plug and 3D-Print With the Makerbot Replicator+," 17 Oct. 2016 Six spools of 50m strasse chain were used to make the dress, for a total of 250m of crystal winding around the body. Amanda Brooks, Vogue, "The Magical Making of Paco Rabanne’s 144-Hour Crystal Dress," 12 Mar. 2019 Below the printing area, two neat pop-out drawers hold spools of printing plastic. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "MakerBot’s new 3D printer shows how much it’s changed in nine years," 11 Dec. 2018 Panoramas were pictures mounted on long spools and operated manually. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "Sailing the Globe in a Gallery," 3 Aug. 2018 According to a previous news release from Oklahoma City police, security footage showed two people taking a spool of copper wiring belonging to the utility company last December. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "He tried to steal copper wire from a light pole and was found dead, Oklahoma cops say," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Town after town spooled by, tire shop after U-Haul dealer after cheap motel. Andrew Moore, National Geographic, "To build the cities of the future, we must get out of our cars," 17 June 2019 Electric chargers spin up nearly instantly and are used briefly during acceleration to create boost before a turbocharger has the time to spool. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "Volvo to Start Using Electrically Driven Superchargers," 17 May 2019 The Air Force, busy spooling up to fight major wars against big-power enemies, may worry that buying OA-X could be spending money on the wars of the past—not the wars to come. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Air Force May Not Buy New Stealth Tanker After All, and the Light Attack Aircraft Could be Dead Too," 30 Jan. 2019 At first, air-traffic controllers didn’t seem alarmed when Richard Russell climbed into the cockpit of a small airliner here Friday evening, spooled up its twin turboprop engines and trundled from its parking spot near a cargo area. Jay Greene, WSJ, "Airplane Stunt Startles Onlookers, Ends Tragically," 12 Aug. 2018 While new messages will be spooled on senders' servers and sent as soon as Internet service is restored, that’s still a major disruption. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Meet Helm, the startup taking on Gmail with a server that runs in your home," 17 Oct. 2018 The name Fiberbots refers to the robots themselves: small, cylindrical machines that spool fiberglass filament out of an arm. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Watch a swarm of robots build a fiber structure," 12 Oct. 2018 Depending on power demands, the compressor can either help spool the turbo or provide boost directly to the engine. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Straight From the Grave: An Iconic Engine Design Makes a Comeback," 21 Aug. 2018 Weiss had cleaned the reel and spooled it with new line. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Extraordinary musky fishing tale, verified and true, comes to happy ending," 11 July 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1603, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for spool


Middle English spole, from Middle Dutch spoele; akin to Old High German spuola spool

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Dictionary Entries near spool



spook yeast


spool bed


spool heel

Statistics for spool

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for spool

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

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More Definitions for spool



English Language Learners Definition of spool

: a round object that is made to have something (such as thread, wire, or tape) wrapped around it


\ ˈspül How to pronounce spool (audio) \

Kids Definition of spool

: a small cylinder which has a rim or ridge at each end and a hole from end to end for a pin or spindle and on which material (as thread, wire, or tape) is wound

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More from Merriam-Webster on spool

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spool

Spanish Central: Translation of spool

Nglish: Translation of spool for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spool for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spool

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to form ideas or theories about something

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