Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English spindle, spyndel, spyndylle, from Old English spindle, spindel, alteration of earlier spinel, spinil, spinl ‎(spindle), from Proto-Germanic *spinnilō ‎(spindle), equivalent to spin +‎ -le. Cognate with Scots spindil, spinnell ‎(spindle), Dutch spil ("spindle"; < Middle Dutch spille, spinle), German Spindel ‎(spindle), Danish spindel ‎(spindle), Swedish spindel ‎(spindle).



spindle ‎(plural spindles)

  1. (spinning) A rod used for spinning and then winding natural fibres (especially wool), usually consisting of a shaft and a circular whorl positioned at either the upper or lower end of the shaft when suspended vertically from the forming thread.
  2. A rod which turns, or on which something turns.
    the spindle of a vane
    • 2012 March 1, Henry Petroski, “Opening Doors”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 112-3:
      A doorknob of whatever roundish shape is effectively a continuum of levers, with the axis of the latching mechanism—known as the spindle—being the fulcrum about which the turning takes place.
  3. A rotary axis of a machine tool or power tool.
  4. A worldwide tree of the genus Euonymus, originally used for making the spindles used for spinning wool.
  5. An upright spike for holding paper documents by skewering.
  6. The fusee of a watch.
  7. A long and slender stalk resembling a spindle.
  8. A yarn measure containing, in cotton yarn, 15,120 yards; in linen yarn, 14,400 yards.
  9. (geometry) A solid generated by the revolution of a curved line about its base or double ordinate or chord.
  10. Any marine univalve shell of the genus Rostellaria; a spindle stromb.
  11. Any marine gastropod of the genus Fusus.



  • (a tree from the Euonymus genus): euonymus



spindle ‎(third-person singular simple present spindles, present participle spindling, simple past and past participle spindled)

  1. To make into a long tapered shape.
  2. To impale on a device for holding paper documents.
    Do not fold, spindle or mutilate this document.


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