from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The hollow stemlike main shaft of a feather. Also called calamus.
- n. Any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird.
- n. A writing pen made from the shaft of a feather.
- n. Music A plectrum for a stringed instrument of the clavichord type.
- n. Music A pipe having a hollow stem.
- n. A toothpick made from the stem of a feather.
- n. One of the sharp hollow spines of a porcupine or hedgehog.
- n. A spindle or bobbin around which yarn is wound in weaving.
- n. A hollow shaft that rotates on a solid shaft when gears are engaged.
- transitive v. To wind (thread or yarn) onto a quill.
- transitive v. To make or press small ridges in (fabric).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The lower shaft of a feather, specifically the region lacking barbs.
- n. A pen made from a feather.
- n. A sharply pointed, barbed, and easily detached needle-like structure that grows on the skin of a porcupine or hedgehog as a defense against predators.
- n. A thin piece of bark, especially of cinnamon or cinchona, curled up into a tube.
- v. To pierce or be pierced with quills.
- v. To write.
- v. To form fabric into small, rounded folds.
- v. To decorate with quillwork.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the large feathers of a bird's wing, or one of the rectrices of the tail; also, the stock of such a feather.
- n. A pen for writing made by sharpening and splitting the point or nib of the stock of a feather.
- n. A spine of the hedgehog or porcupine.
- n. The pen of a squid. See Pen.
- n. The plectrum with which musicians strike the strings of certain instruments.
- n. The tube of a musical instrument.
- n. Something having the form of a quill.
- n. The fold or plain of a ruff.
- n. A spindle, or spool, as of reed or wood, upon which the thread for the woof is wound in a shuttle.
- n. A hollow spindle.
- n. A roll of dried bark.
- transitive v. To plaint in small cylindrical ridges, called quillings.
- transitive v. To wind on a quill, as thread or yarn.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The stalk of a cane or reed.
- n. A cane or reed pipe, such as those used in Pan's pipes.
- n. One of the large, strong feathers of geese, swans, turkeys, crows, etc., used for writing-pens and the like.
- n. A quill pen; hence, by extension, any pen, especially considered as the characteristic instrument of a writer.
- n. One of the comparatively large flight-feathers or remiges of any bird, without reference to the use of such feathers for making quill pens; a quill-feather: as, the quills and coverts of the wing; sometimes extended to include the similar feathers of the tail.
- n. The hard, hollow, horny part of the scape of any feather, which does not bear barbs, and by which the feather is inserted in the skin; the calamus, as distinguished from the rachis.
- n. One of the much enlarged and peculiarly modified hairs with which some animals, as porcupines, are provided; a large hollow spine.
- n. A piece of small reed or other light slender tube, used by weavers to wind thread upon, and by manufacturers to hold the wound silk and other thread prepared for sale.
- n. A plectrum of quill, as of a goose, for playing on musical instruments of the lute and zither families.
- n. In the harpsichord, spinet, and virginal, a small piece of quill projecting from the jack of each key (digital), and so set that when the key was depressed the corresponding string was twitched or twanged by it. Various other materials were used instead of quills.
- n. In seal-engraving, the hollow shaft or mandril of the seal-engravers' lathe, in which the cutting-tools are secured to be revolved while the stones are held against them.
- n. In mining, a train for igniting a blast, consisting of a quill filled with slow-burning powder: it is now superseded by the safety-fuse.
- n. The faucet of a barrel.
- n. In pharmacy, bark in a roll, such as is often formed in drying, as of cinnamon or cinchona.
- To pluck out quills from.
- To tap, as a barrel of liquor.
- To wind thread or yarn on quills for the loom.
- n. A fold of a plaited or fluted ruff or ruffle.
- To flute; form with small rounded ridges.
- n. In machinery, a hollow shaft: a cylinder; a pipe; specifically, in a turbine, the hollow shaft which carries the revolving blades or blade-wheels.
- To insert or adjust the quills of (a harpsichord or spiuet).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the hollow spine of a feather
- n. pen made from a bird's feather
- n. any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird
- n. a stiff hollow protective spine on a porcupine or hedgehog
Middle English quil.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)