[ koil ]
See synonyms for: coilcoiledcoiling on

  1. a connected series of spirals or rings that rope, wire, or the like has been formed into: A coil of string was wound around the pole.

  2. one of a connected series of spirals or rings that rope, wire, or the like has been formed into: Grab the first coil of the yarn and slip it over the other two.

  1. an arrangement of pipes wound up in a spiral or series, as in a radiator.

  2. a continuous pipe having inlet and outlet, or flow and return ends.

  3. Medicine/Medical. an intrauterine device.

  4. Electricity.

    • a conductor, such as a copper wire, wound up in a spiral or similar form.

    • a device made up of this type of conductor.

  5. Philately.

    • a stamp issued in a roll, usually of 500 stamps, and usually perforated vertically or horizontally only.

    • a roll of such stamps.

verb (used with object)
  1. to wind into continuous, regularly spaced rings one above the other: The first step of this craft is to coil a wire around a pencil.

  2. to wind on a flat surface into a connected series of rings, one atop the other: He coiled the rope on the deck.

  1. to gather (rope, wire, etc.) into loops: She coiled the garden hose and hung it on the hook.

verb (used without object)
  1. to form rings, spirals, etc.; gather or retract in a circular way: The snake coiled, ready to strike.

  2. to move in or follow a winding course: The river coiled through the valley.

Origin of coil

First recorded in 1605–15; of uncertain origin; perhaps from Middle French, Old French coillir, cuillir “to take” (modern French cueillir “to gather, pick”), from Latin colligere “to gather together”; see collect, cull

Other words from coil

  • coil·a·ble, adjective
  • coil·a·bil·i·ty [koil-uh-bil-i-tee] /ˌkɔɪl əˈbɪl ɪ ti/ noun
  • un·coiled, adjective

Other definitions for coil (2 of 2)

[ koil ]

  1. a noisy disturbance; commotion; tumult.

  2. trouble; bustle; ado.

Origin of coil

First recorded in 1560–70; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use coil in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for coil (1 of 2)


/ (kɔɪl) /

  1. to wind or gather (ropes, hair, etc) into loops or (of rope, hair, etc) to be formed in such loops

  2. (intr) to move in a winding course

  1. something wound in a connected series of loops

  2. a single loop of such a series

  1. an arrangement of pipes in a spiral or loop, as in a condenser

  2. an electrical conductor wound into the form of a spiral, sometimes with a soft iron core, to provide inductance or a magnetic field: See also induction coil

  3. an intrauterine contraceptive device in the shape of a coil

  4. the transformer in a petrol engine that supplies the high voltage to the sparking plugs

Origin of coil

C16: from Old French coillir to collect together; see cull

Derived forms of coil

  • coiler, noun

British Dictionary definitions for coil (2 of 2)


/ (kɔɪl) /

  1. the troubles and activities of the world (in the Shakespearean phrase this mortal coil)

Origin of coil

C16: of unknown origin

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012