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Alternative forms[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English twine, twyne, twin, from Old English twīn ‎(double thread, twist, twine, linen-thread, linen), from Proto-Germanic *twiznaz ‎(thread, twine), from Proto-Indo-European *dwisnós ‎(double), from *dwóh₁ ‎(two). Cognate with Saterland Frisian Twien ‎(yarn, thread), Dutch twijn ‎(twine), Dutch tweern ‎(thread, twine), German Zwirn ‎(thread), Icelandic tvinni ‎(a double-thread). More at twire.


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twine ‎(countable and uncountable, plural twines)

  1. A twist; a convolution.
    • Milton
      Typhon huge, ending in snaky twine.
  2. A strong thread composed of two or three smaller threads or strands twisted together, and used for various purposes, as for binding small parcels, making nets, and the like; a small cord or string.
  3. The act of twining or winding round.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of J. Philips to this entry?)
  4. Intimate and suggestive dance gyrations.
    1965 Pickett, Wilson, Don't Fight It (blues song), BMI Music.
    • The way you jerk, the way you do the twine / You're too much, baby; I'd like to make you mine [...]
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English twinen, twynen, from Old English *twīnian ‎(to twine, thread), from Proto-Germanic *twiznōną ‎(to thread), from Proto-Indo-European *dwisnós ‎(double), from *dwóh₁ ‎(two). Cognate with Dutch twijnen ‎(to twine, contort, throw), Danish tvinde ‎(to twist), Swedish tvinna ‎(to twist, twine, throw), Icelandic tvinna ‎(to merge, twine).


twine ‎(third-person singular simple present twines, present participle twining, simple past and past participle twined)

  1. (transitive) To weave together.
  2. (transitive) To wind, as one thread around another, or as any flexible substance around another body.
  3. (transitive) To wind about; to embrace; to entwine.
  4. (intransitive) To mutually twist together; to become mutually involved; to intertwine.
    • 1941, Emily Carr, Klee Wyck, Chapter 1,[3]
      Usually some old crone was squatted on the earth floor, weaving cedar fibre or tatters of old cloth into a mat, her claw-like fingers twining in and out, in and out, among the strands that were fastened to a crude frame of sticks.
  5. (intransitive) To wind; to bend; to make turns; to meander.
    • 1713, Jonathan Swift, Cadenus and Vanessa,[4]
      As rivers, though they bend and twine,
      Still to the sea their course incline:
  6. (intransitive) To ascend in spiral lines about a support; to climb spirally.
    Many plants twine.
  7. (obsolete) To turn round; to revolve.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)
  8. (obsolete) To change the direction of.
  9. (obsolete) To mingle; to mix.
    • 1646, Richard Crashaw, “M. Crashaw’s Answer for Hope,” lines 29-30,[6]
      As lumpes of sugar loose themselues, and twine
      Their subtile essence with the soul of wine.
Derived terms[edit]