Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Coil


English Wikipedia has articles on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /kɔɪl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French coillir (to gather, pluck, pick, cull) (French: cueillir), from Latin colligo (to gather together), past participle collectus, from com- (together) + lego (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. (electrical) A coil of electrically conductive wire through which electricity can flow.
    Synonym: inductor
  4. (figuratively) Entanglement; perplexity.
    • a. 1722, Matthew Prior, “Human Life”, in H. Bunker Wright, Monroe K. Spears, editors, The Literary Works of Matthew Prior, volume I, Second edition, 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. (obsolete, rare) To encircle and hold with, or as if with, coils.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of T. Edwards to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

Origin unknown.


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 []
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Act III:
      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, in Kupperman 1988, p. 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 752990886, 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]

Further reading[edit]




Noun 1[edit]

coil m

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

Noun 2[edit]

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.