See more synonyms for coil on
verb (used with object)
  1. to wind into continuous, regularly spaced rings one above the other: to coil a wire around a pencil.
  2. to wind on a flat surface into rings one around the other: He coiled the rope on the deck.
  3. 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.
  1. a connected series of spirals or rings into which a rope or the like is wound.
  2. a single such ring.
  3. an arrangement of pipes, coiled or in a series, as in a radiator.
  4. a continuous pipe having inlet and outlet, or flow and return ends.
  5. Medicine/Medical. an intrauterine device.
  6. Electricity.
    1. a conductor, as a copper wire, wound up in a spiral or other form.
    2. a device composed essentially of such a conductor.
    3. ignition coil.
  7. Philately.
    1. a stamp issued in a roll, usually of 500 stamps, and usually perforated vertically or horizontally only.
    2. a roll of such stamps.

Origin of coil

First recorded in 1605–15; perhaps variant of cull
Related formscoil·a·ble, adjectivecoil·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·coiled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for coiled

helicoid, tortile

Examples from the Web for coiled

Contemporary Examples of coiled

Historical Examples of coiled

British Dictionary definitions for coiled


  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
  3. an arrangement of pipes in a spiral or loop, as in a condenser
  4. an electrical conductor wound into the form of a spiral, sometimes with a soft iron core, to provide inductance or a magnetic fieldSee also induction coil
  5. an intrauterine contraceptive device in the shape of a coil
  6. the transformer in a petrol engine that supplies the high voltage to the sparking plugs
Derived Formscoiler, noun

Word Origin for coil

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


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

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for coiled



"to wind," 1610s, from Middle French coillir "to gather, pick," from Latin colligere "to gather together" (see collect). Meaning specialized perhaps in nautical usage. Related: Coiled; coiling.



1620s, from coil (v.). Related: Coils.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper