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From reel (noun), suggesting a mechanical movement.


reel off (third-person singular simple present reels off, present participle reeling off, simple past and past participle reeled off)

  1. (transitive, idiomatic) To list effortlessly and quickly.
    • 2005, Independent, "That's settled: England's team for 2006", 10 June:
      There are 12 months left before the next World Cup and every England fan can reel off Sven Goran Eriksson's starting XI within 15 seconds.
    • 2008, American Cowboy (magazine), Aug-Sep, vol. 15, no. 2:
      When asked about inspirational influences in his life, he reeled off a list of folks whose names would surprise no one.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To produce (e.g. a performance), in an effortless manner.
    • 1996, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 21 Feb.:
      Last year, the Royals were 5-17 and little did anyone think they would reel off 12 straight wins in 1996.
    • 2008, Reuters India, 4 July, headline:
      Briton Fisher reels off 10 birdies in record 63.