Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English skeyne, Old French escaigne, French écagne, probably of Celtic origin, from Proto-Indo-European *skend- (to split off)



skein (plural skeins)

  1. A quantity of yarn, thread, or the like, put up together, after it is taken from the reel. A skein of cotton yarn is formed by eighty turns of the thread round a fifty-four inch reel.
  2. (figuratively) A web, a weave, a tangle.
    • 1923, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Creeping Man:
      The practical application of what I have said is very close to the problem which I am investigating. It is a tangled skein, you understand. and I am looking for a loose end.
  3. (wagonmaking) A metallic strengthening band or thimble on the wooden arm of an axle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  4. (zoology, provincial England) A group of wild fowl, (e.g. geese, goslings) when they are in flight.
  5. (sports) A winning streak.


See alsoEdit




skein f (genitive singular skeinar, plural skeinir)

  1. (kvæði) scratch, small wound

Related termsEdit


f2 Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative skein skeinin skeinir skeinirnar
Accusative skein skeinina skeinir skeinirnar
Dative skein skeinini skeinum skeinunum
Genitive skeinar skeinarinnar skeina skeinanna



  1. shone, singular past tense form of skína (to shine)
Last modified on 28 March 2014, at 04:19