skein

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English[edit]

yarn skeins (1)
a skein of geese (5)

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English skayne, from Old French escaigne (Modern French écagne), probably of Proto-Celtic origin, from Proto-Indo-European *skend- (to split off)

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: skān, IPA(key): /skeɪn/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪn

Noun[edit]

skein (plural skeins)

  1. A quantity of yarn, thread, etc. put up together, after it is taken from the reel. A skein of cotton yarn is formed by eighty turns of the thread around a fifty-four inch reel.
    Coordinate term: hank
    • c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iii], page 224:
      Brau'd in mine owne houſe with a skeine of thred: / Away thou Ragge, thou quantitie, thou remnant,
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, chapter 1, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, London; New York, N.Y.; Melbourne, Vic.: Ward Lock & Co., OCLC 34363729:
      “How horribly unjust of you!” cried Lord Henry, tilting his hat back and looking up at the little clouds that, like ravelled skeins of glossy white silk, were drifting across the hollowed turquoise of the summer sky.
    • 1915, Virginia Woolf, chapter XV, in The Voyage Out:
      The embroidery, which was a matter for thought, the design being difficult and the colours wanting consideration, brought lapses into the dialogue when she seemed to be engrossed in her skeins of silk, or, with head a little drawn back and eyes narrowed, considered the effect of the whole.
    • 1935, T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral, Part I:
      You hold the skein: wind, Thomas, wind / The thread of eternal life and death.
  2. (figuratively) A web, a weave, a tangle.
  3. (zoology) The membrane of a fish ovary.
  4. (wagonmaking) A metallic strengthening band or thimble on the wooden arm of an axle.
    • 1862, T. Hughes, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      One of the free-state settlers went to the blacksmith's shop unarmed, carrying a waggon skein to be repaired.
  5. (zoology, UK, dialect, collective) A group of wild fowl (e.g. geese, goslings) when they are in flight.
    Coordinate terms: gaggle, wedge
    • 2018, Laurence Rose, The Long Spring, Bloomsbury, →ISBN, page 111:
      High above the swallows and 2 miles or so out into the Channel was a skein of geese, probably brent geese on the first day of their emigration from the estuaries of the Channel coast towards the high Arctic tundra of Spitsbergen or Russia.
  6. (sports) A winning streak.
  7. (radio, television, dated) A series created by a web (major broadcasting network).
    • 1950, Billboard (volume 62, number 9)
      All three tele skeins are pitching furiously to snag the super Easter Day tele show to be bankrolled by Frigidaire, []
    • 1963, Radio Television Daily (volume 93, page 5)
      Three comedy shows from the U. S. are in the CTV lineup: CBSTV's Phil Silvers and Danny Thomas skeins and NBC-TV's "Harry's Girls."

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

skein (third-person singular simple present skeins, present participle skeining, simple past and past participle skeined)

  1. To wind or weave into a skein.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Faroese[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

skein f (genitive singular skeinar, plural skeinir)

  1. (kvæði) scratch, small wound

Declension[edit]

Declension of skein
f2 singular plural
indefinite definite indefinite definite
nominative skein skeinin skeinir skeinirnar
accusative skein skeinina skeinir skeinirnar
dative skein skeinini skeinum skeinunum
genitive skeinar skeinarinnar skeina skeinanna

Related terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

skein

  1. shone, singular past of skína (to shine)

Icelandic[edit]

Verb[edit]

skein

  1. first-person singular past active indicative of skína
  2. third-person singular past active indicative of skína
  3. second-person singular active imperative of skeina

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

skein

  1. simple past of skinne

Anagrams[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Verb[edit]

skein

  1. past of skina

Old Norse[edit]

Verb[edit]

skein

  1. first/third-person singular past active indicative of skína