\ˈspül \

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

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 The ‘it’ factor In Tyra’s playing days, the thin spool at the center of a roll of athletic tape was plastic, not cardboard. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "From a kangaroo court to Louisville athletics, Vince Tyra has always taken command," 27 Mar. 2018 However, each sticks to the basic form factor: A rectangular black box with a white square in the middle and magnetic black tape wound between two spools on either end. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "Everyone Watching 13 Reasons Why Is Using The Wrong Emoji," 18 May 2018 Cold beer, burgers, tables made from old cable spools. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Folc Burger’s stayin’ alive at Bexar Pub," 17 May 2018 Haviland started pulling out spools of different types of line. Kathryn Miles, BostonGlobe.com, "Can anyone save the North Atlantic right whale?," 11 Apr. 2018 Because of a few spools of thread and a dozen needles, people were condemned to death. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "The Boarder," 30 Apr. 2018 To shrink it, the operator simply reels the tubing back into a spool. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Clever Vine-Like Robot That Grows and Steers With Air," 19 Apr. 2018 On a recent weekday, the space has a calm and crafty vibe -- well organized despite the profusion of fabric, spools of thread and other sewing materials. Mary Colurso, AL.com, "Cool Spaces: This live-work building in Crestwood makes artists' dreams come true," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The free-spooling reel allowed the bait – a pink bead and spawn sac – to be carried with the current in a natural manner. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Centerpin gear is gaining fans for tributary fishing," 24 Mar. 2018 Customers will be offered services such as scope mounting, bore sighting, line winding/spooling, propane exchange and the ability to purchase hunting and fishing licenses. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Academy Sports + Outdoors will open new store in Richmond," 19 June 2018 Light spooled across the water from Canada and turned the underside of the clouds yellow and pink. Porter Fox, WSJ, "A Seafood Hater Chases Fish in Maine," 6 June 2018 The rope was spooled inside a wooden box anchored to the ground that Garcia would crank to increase or decrease the slack. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Giant sea creatures, other colorful kites take to skies over Will County during festival," 1 May 2018 Neporadny uses a medium-light-action spinning rod, a small reel spooled with 4-pound test line and a small plastic bait to entice those crappies. Brent Frazee, kansascity, "It's high time to go crappie fishing at Lake of the Ozarks | The Kansas City Star," 26 Apr. 2018 The prudent course of action for fishermen is to spend time getting the boat ready, sorting through the tackle boxes, tying some flies and spooling fishing reels with fresh line. cleveland.com, "Fishing Report for March 9: Rivers finally in shape, trout cooperating," 9 Mar. 2018 Coming up with replacement parts required a whole team of enthusiasts to make and spool the appropriate wire from scratch. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Behold the Fascinating Nightmare of Debugging a Computer from the 1950s," 29 June 2016

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

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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 \

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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