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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A ring, series of rings, or spiral, into which a rope, or other like thing, is wound.
  • n. Fig.: Entanglement; toil; mesh; perplexity.
  • n. A series of connected pipes in rows or layers, as in a steam heating apparatus.
  • n. A noise, tumult, bustle, or confusion.
  • intransitive v. To wind itself cylindrically or spirally; to form a coil; to wind; -- often with about or around.
  • transitive v. To wind cylindrically or spirally.
  • transitive v. To encircle and hold with, or as with, coils.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Specifically An electrical conductor, as a copper wire, when wound up in a spiral or other form: as, an induction-coil; a resistance-coil.
  • n. A group or nest of pipes, variously arranged, used as a radiator in a steam-heating apparatus.
  • n. Stir; disturbance; tumult; bustle; turmoil; trouble.
  • n. [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.
  • n. A hencoop. Also called hen-coil.
  • n. A cock, as of hay; a haycock.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. reactor consisting of a spiral of insulated wire that introduces inductance into a circuit
  • v. wind around something in coils or loops
  • n. a contraceptive device placed inside a woman's womb
  • v. to wind or move in a spiral course
  • n. a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops
  • n. a transformer that supplies high voltage to spark plugs in a gasoline engine
  • v. make without a potter's wheel
  • n. tubing that is wound in a spiral
  • n. a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles (as formed by leaves or flower petals)


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

Probably from obsolete French coillir, to gather up, from Latin colligere; see collect1.
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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin unknown.



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