Definitions

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

  • n. The game of jackstraws.
  • n. One of the straws used in playing jackstraws.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of the straws used in the game of jackstraws (spillikins)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See spilikin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A long splinter of wood, bone, ivory, or the like, such as is used in playing some games, as jackstraws.
  • n. pl, A game played with such pegs, pins, or splinters, as push-pin or jackstraws.
  • n. A small peg used in keeping count in some games, as cribbage.

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

  • n. a thin strip of wood used in playing the game of jackstraws

Etymologies

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

Probably alteration of Flemish spelleken, diminutive of spelle, pin, from Middle Flemish, ultimately from Medieval Latin spīnula, diminutive of Latin spīna, thorn.

Examples

  • It's so very difficult to play a game with a spillikin on one side and a sledge-hammer on the other. '

    The Explorer

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