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keel

1
[ keel ]
/ kil /
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noun
verb (used with or without object)
to turn or upset so as to bring the wrong side or part uppermost.
Verb Phrases
keel over,
  1. to capsize or overturn.
  2. to fall as in a faint: Several cadets keeled over from the heat during the parade.
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Idioms about keel

    on an even keel, in a state of balance; steady; steadily: The affairs of state are seldom on an even keel for long.

Origin of keel

1
First recorded in 1325–75; 1895–1900 for def. 8; Middle English kele, from Old Norse kjǫlr; cognate with Old English cēol “keel, ship”; see keel2

OTHER WORDS FROM keel

keeled, adjective

Other definitions for keel (2 of 4)

keel2
[ keel ]
/ kil /

noun British Dialect.
the amount of coal carried by one keelboat.
a measure of coal equivalent to 21 long tons and 4 hundredweight (21.5 metric tons).

Origin of keel

2
First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English kele, from Middle Dutch kiel “ship”; cognate with Old English cēol “ship,” German kiel “ship” (obsolete); see keel1

Other definitions for keel (3 of 4)

keel3
[ keel ]
/ kil /

verb (used with object) British Dialect.
to cool, especially by stirring.

Origin of keel

3
First recorded before 900; Middle English kelen, Old English cēlan “to be cool”; akin to cool

Other definitions for keel (4 of 4)

keel4
[ keel ]
/ kil /

noun
a red ocher stain used for marking sheep, lumber, etc.; ruddle.

Origin of keel

4
First recorded in 1475–85; earlier keyle (north and Scots dialect); compare Scots Gaelic cìl (itself perhaps from English )
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use keel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for keel (1 of 5)

keel1
/ (kiːl) /

noun
one of the main longitudinal structural members of a vessel to which the frames are fastened and that may extend into the water to provide lateral stability
on an even keel well-balanced; steady
any structure corresponding to or resembling the keel of a ship, such as the central member along the bottom of an aircraft fuselage
biology a ridgelike part; carina
a poetic word for ship
verb
to capsize
See also keel over

Derived forms of keel

keel-less, adjective

Word Origin for keel

C14: from Old Norse kjölr; related to Middle Dutch kiel, keel ²

British Dictionary definitions for keel (2 of 5)

keel2
/ (kiːl) /

noun Eastern British dialect
a flat-bottomed vessel, esp one used for carrying coal
a measure of coal equal to about 21 tons

Word Origin for keel

C14 kele, from Middle Dutch kiel; compare Old English cēol ship

British Dictionary definitions for keel (3 of 5)

keel3
/ (kiːl) /

noun
red ochre stain used for marking sheep, timber, etc
verb (tr)
to mark with this stain

Word Origin for keel

Old English cēlan, from cōl cool

British Dictionary definitions for keel (4 of 5)

keel4
/ (kiːl) /

verb
an archaic word for cool

Word Origin for keel

C15: probably from Scottish Gaelic cīl

British Dictionary definitions for keel (5 of 5)

keel5
/ (kiːl) /

noun
a fatal disease of young ducks, characterized by intestinal bleeding caused by Salmonella bacteria

Word Origin for keel

C19: from keel 1; see keel over
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with keel

keel

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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