Definitions

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

  • noun A length of thread or yarn wound in a loose long coil.
  • noun Something suggesting the coil of a skein; a complex tangle.
  • noun A flock of geese or similar birds in flight.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete form of skean.
  • noun In cytology, same as spireme.
  • To wind (yarn) into hanks of definite lengths other than the normal.
  • noun A fixed length of any thread or yarn of silk, wool, linen, or cotton, doubled again and again and knotted.
  • noun A flight or company: said of certain wild fowl, as geese or ducks.
  • noun A shaved split of osier used in wickerwork.
  • noun In a vehicle, the iron head or thimble upon the end of a wooden axletree, inclusive of the straps by which it is attached to the axle, and which, being set in recesses flush with the wood, afford hearing surfaces for the box in the hub.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. A flight of wild fowl (wild geese or the like).
  • noun A quantity of yarn, thread, or the like, put up together, after it is taken from the reel, -- usually tied in a sort of knot.
  • noun (Wagon Making) A metallic strengthening band or thimble on the wooden arm of an axle.

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

  • noun A quantity of yarn, thread, or the like, put up together, after it is taken from the reel. A skein of cotton yarn is formed by eighty turns of the thread round a fifty-four inch reel.
  • noun figuratively A web, a weave, a tangle.
  • noun wagonmaking A metallic strengthening band or thimble on the wooden arm of an axle.
  • noun zoology, provincial England A group of wild fowl, (e.g. geese, goslings) when they are in flight.
  • noun sports A winning streak.

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

  • noun coils of worsted yarn

Etymologies

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

[Middle English skeine, from Old French escaigne.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English skeyne, Old French escaigne, French écagne, probably of Celtic origin

Examples

  • That's cuz the other skein is already in progress:

    March 2007

  • That's cuz the other skein is already in progress:

    Amazing bounty!

  • Each skein is 3 balls of Baby Ull. When I finish Susie's shawl, I'll see if I can use these for some of Cookie's socks.

    March 2007

  • Each skein is 3 balls of Baby Ull. When I finish Susie's shawl, I'll see if I can use these for some of Cookie's socks.

    A little more dyeing

  • I don’t know if you can tell, but the skein is almost * nothing* and I hope I don’t run out.

    2006 January 06 « Compulsive Knitter

  • I don’t know if you can tell, but the skein is almost * nothing* and I hope I don’t run out.

    Cutting it close…. « Compulsive Knitter

  • The diamond-shaped kite has no spool, but a funny shaped plastic handle, so you can wind the string in a skein, which is great for not tangling but awful for letting it spool out and go higher.

    Summation

  • The $1.7 million skein, which is partially financed by Canal Plus, centers on a community of trees talking like teenagers and tackling teen issues.

    Variety.com

  • Lucy Lawless and John Hannah will co-star in the untitled skein, with Whitfield making only

    Variety.com

  • Untitled skein will be produced by Fox Television Studios and Fuse Entertainment.

    Variety.com

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • The much ballyhooed 7th release of Inform—a system for writing interactive fiction or text adventures—uses something they call the skein as a way to keep track of all the various ways you navigate your in-progress game, ie the braid of different threads of the adventure.

    December 19, 2007

  • A message sent from the White House took only twelve minutes to come back to the transmitting telegraphers, having circumnavigated the planet via a now fully connected skein of cables, and at what was then a barely imaginable speed.

    - Winchester, Simon (2005). A Crack in the Edge of The World. HarperCollins.

    December 28, 2007