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See also: COIL and Coil


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  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /kɔɪl/
  • (Appalachians, obsolete) IPA(key): /kwaɪl/[1]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English coilen, from Old French coillir, cuillir (to gather, pluck, pick, cull) (modern French cueillir), from Latin colligō (to gather together), past participle collectus, from com- (together) + legō (to gather); compare legend. Doublet of cull.

Helical or coil springs


coil (plural coils)

  1. Something wound in the form of a helix or spiral.
    the sinuous coils of a snake
  2. Any intrauterine device (Abbreviation: IUD)—the first IUDs were coil-shaped.
  3. (electronics) A coil of electrically conductive wire through which electricity can flow.
    Synonym: inductor
  4. A cylinder of clay.
    • (The first step in making coil pottery is learning how to roll a clay coil. )
  5. (figurative) Entanglement; perplexity.
    • a. 1722, Matthew Prior, “Human Life”, in H. Bunker Wright, Monroe K. Spears, editors, The Literary Works of Matthew Prior, Second edition, volume I, Oxford: Clarendon Press, published 1971, page 687:
      What trifling coil do we mortals keep;
      Wake, eat, and drink, evacuate, and sleep.
Derived terms[edit]
  • Japanese: コイル (koiru)


coil (third-person singular simple present coils, present participle coiling, simple past and past participle coiled)

  1. To wind or reel e.g. a wire or rope into regular rings, often around a centerpiece.
    A simple transformer can be made by coiling two pieces of insulated copper wire around an iron heart.
  2. To wind into loops (roughly) around a common center.
    The sailor coiled the free end of the hawser on the pier.
  3. To wind cylindrically or spirally.
    to coil a rope when not in use
    The snake coiled itself before springing.
  4. To build a pot (etc) with clay coils.
  5. (obsolete, rare) To encircle and hold with, or as if with, coils.
    • a. 1757, Thomas Edwards, sonnet to Mr. Nathanael Mason
      Pleasure coil thee in her dangerous snare
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]



coil (plural coils)

  1. (now obsolete except in phrases) A noise, tumult, bustle, or turmoil.
    • a. 1738, Thomas Urquhart, Peter Anthony Motteux, and John Ozell (translators), François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel
      And when he saw that all the dogs were flocking about her, yarring at the retardment of their access to her, and every way keeping such a coil with her as they are wont to do about a proud or salt bitch, he forthwith departed []
    • c. 1588–1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals)]:
      If the windes rage, doth not the Sea wax mad, / Threatning the welkin with his big-swolne face? / And wilt thou haue a reason for this coile?
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, Kupperman, published 1988, page 162:
      this great Savage desired also to see him. A great coyle there was to set him forward.
    • 1704, [Jonathan Swift], “Section IV”, in A Tale of a Tub. [], London: [] John Nutt, [], →OCLC, pages 99–100:
      [T]hey continued ſo extremely fond of Gold, that if Peter ſent them abroad, though it were only upon a Complement; they would Roar, and Spit, and Belch, and Piſs, and Fart, and Snivle out Fire, and keep a perpetual Coyl, till you flung them a Bit of Gold; [...]
Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Hall, Joseph Sargent (March 2, 1942), “1. The Vowel Sounds of Stressed Syllables”, in The Phonetics of Great Smoky Mountain Speech (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 4), New York: King's Crown Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § 15, page 46.

Further reading[edit]





coil m

  1. vocative/genitive singular of col (prohibition; sin, lust; violation; dislike; incest; relation, relationship)


coil m

  1. inflection of col (col):
    1. vocative/genitive singular
    2. nominative/dative plural


Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
coil choil gcoil
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.