from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A series of connected spirals or concentric rings formed by gathering or winding.
  • noun An individual spiral or ring within such a series.
  • noun A spiral pipe or series of spiral pipes, as in a radiator.
  • noun A wound spiral of two or more turns of insulated wire, used to introduce inductance into a circuit.
  • noun Any of various devices of which such a spiral is the major component.
  • noun A roll of postage stamps prepared for use in a vending machine.
  • intransitive verb To wind in concentric rings or spirals.
  • intransitive verb To wind into a shape resembling a coil.
  • intransitive verb To form concentric rings or spirals.
  • intransitive verb To move in a spiral course.
  • noun A disturbance; a fuss.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A ring or series of rings or spirals into which a pliant body, as a rope, is wound; hence, such a form in a body which is not pliant, as a steel car-spring.
  • noun Specifically An electrical conductor, as a copper wire, when wound up in a spiral or other form: as, an induction-coil; a resistance-coil.
  • noun A group or nest of pipes, variously arranged, used as a radiator in a steam-heating apparatus.
  • noun Stir; disturbance; tumult; bustle; turmoil; trouble.
  • noun [In the following quotation the meaning is uncertain; it is explained as either ‘turmoil, bustle, trouble’ (which is the sense employed in all other cases where Shakspere has used the word), or ‘that which entwines or wraps around,’ that is, the body.
  • To pick; choose; select.
  • To strain through a cloth.
  • To gather into a narrow compass.
  • To gather into rings one above another; twist or wind spirally: as, to coil a rope; a serpent coils itself to strike.
  • To entangle as or as if by coiling about.
  • To form rings, spirals, or convolutions; wind.
  • noun A hencoop. Also called hen-coil.
  • noun A cock, as of hay; a haycock.
  • noun A cylindrical hoop or tube formed by coiling a wrought-iron bar and then welding to form a solid piece: formerly used in building up Armstrong guns.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To wind itself cylindrically or spirally; to form a coil; to wind; -- often with about or around.
  • transitive verb To wind cylindrically or spirally.
  • transitive verb Obs. or R. To encircle and hold with, or as with, coils.
  • noun A ring, series of rings, or spiral, into which a rope, or other like thing, is wound.
  • noun Fig.: Entanglement; toil; mesh; perplexity.
  • noun A series of connected pipes in rows or layers, as in a steam heating apparatus.
  • noun (Elec.) See under Induction.
  • noun (Elec.) an induction coil, sometimes so called from Ruhmkorff (�), a prominent manufacturer of the apparatus.
  • noun obsolete A noise, tumult, bustle, or confusion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A noise, tumult, bustle, or turmoil.
  • noun Something wound in the form of a helix or spiral.
  • noun Common name for any intra-uterine contraceptive device (Abbreviation: IUD)—the first IUDs were coil-shaped.
  • noun electrical A coil of electrically conductive wire through which electricity can flow.
  • verb To wind or reel e.g. a wire or rope into regular rings, often around a centerpiece.
  • verb To wind into loops (roughly) around a common center.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun reactor consisting of a spiral of insulated wire that introduces inductance into a circuit
  • verb wind around something in coils or loops
  • noun a contraceptive device placed inside a woman's womb
  • verb to wind or move in a spiral course
  • noun a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops
  • noun a transformer that supplies high voltage to spark plugs in a gasoline engine
  • verb make without a potter's wheel
  • noun tubing that is wound in a spiral


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably from obsolete French coillir, to gather up, from Latin colligere; see collect.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French coillir ("to gather, pluck, pick, cull") (French: cueillir), from Latin colligere ("to gather together"), past participle collectus, from com- ("together") + legere ("to gather"); compare legend.


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