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

  • noun A spindle or an axle used to secure or support material being machined or milled.
  • noun A metal rod or bar around which material, such as metal or glass, may be shaped.
  • noun A shaft on which a working tool is mounted, as in a dental drill.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To operate upon with mandrels, as a bronze gun.
  • noun In mech., a cylindrical bar or spindle, either of uniform diameter, of different diameters, or tapered, used for a variety of purposes, but chiefly for the support of objects formed with holes, into which the mandrel is forcibly driven in order to hold them firmly while turning in a lathe, or in an analogous machine, or in operating upon them with a file.
  • noun A miners' pick.
  • noun In metal-working by the spinning process, the form, usually of wood, upon which the thin plate of metal or blank is pressed in order that the revolution may give it the form of the mandrel.
  • noun A mandrel fitted to a bearing or bearings of a support which may be set in the tool-post of the slide-rest of a lathe, or in some other traversing device. Such mandrels are used for expanding reamers and analogous tools, and they are usually driven by a pulley-and-belt mechanism.

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

  • noun A bar of metal inserted in the work to shape it, or to hold it, as in a lathe, during the process of manufacture; an arbor.
  • noun The live spindle of a turning lathe; the revolving arbor of a circular saw. It is usually driven by a pulley.
  • noun a lathe with a stout spindle, adapted esp. for chucking, as for forming hollow articles by turning or spinning.

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

  • noun An object used as an aid for shaping a material, e.g. bending a pipe without creasing or kinking it.
  • noun A tool or component of a tool that grips or clamps something, such as a workpiece to be machined, a machining tool or a part while it is moved.

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

  • noun any of various rotating shafts that serve as axes for larger rotating parts


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

[Possibly alteration of French mandrin, lathe, from Provençal mandre, axle, crank, from Old Provençal, beam of a balance, from Latin mamphur, bow-drill, perhaps from Oscan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French mandrin, probably from Late Latin *mamphurinum, from Latin mamphur ("a bow drill"), possibly from Ancient Greek μαννοφόρον (mannophoron, "wearing a collar")


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  • In glassworking, a lathe shaft with a hollow end, designed to receive spindles, or a metal rod around which beads and other small objects are formed.

    November 9, 2007

  • It's hard not to associate this word with a country singer with a colorful rump.

    November 9, 2007

  • I did my best, though.

    November 9, 2007

  • "MANDRELS, in anchor-making, are circular iron instruments, forming a cone four feet high, on which hoops are driven, to be made perfectly round."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 255

    October 12, 2008

  • Chained, that sounds a lot like a country singer with a colorful rump.

    January 17, 2010

  • Buying means to give metal some shape

    Beware of the practical jape:

    Be sure of a handle

    On what is a mandrel -

    Know mandrill’s a bright-bottomed ape.

    February 9, 2019