[ reel ]
/ ril /


verb (used with object)

Verb Phrases

reel off, to say, write, or produce quickly and easily: The old sailor reeled off one story after another.

Idioms for reel

    off the reel,
    1. without pause; continuously.
    2. without delay or hesitation; immediately.
    Also right off the reel.

Origin of reel

before 1050; (noun) Middle English rele, Old English hrēol; cognate with Old Norse hræll weaver's rod; (v.) Middle English relen, derivative of rele


reel·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for reel off (1 of 4)

reel off


(tr, adverb) to recite or write fluently and without apparent effortto reel off items on a list

British Dictionary definitions for reel off (2 of 4)

/ (riːl, rɪəl) /


any of various cylindrical objects or frames that turn on an axis and onto which film, magnetic tape, paper tape, wire, thread, etc, may be woundUS equivalent: spool
angling a device for winding, casting, etc, consisting of a revolving spool with a handle, attached to a fishing rod
a roll of celluloid exhibiting a sequence of photographs to be projected

verb (tr)

to wind (cotton, thread, etc) onto a reel
(foll by in, out etc) to wind or draw with a reelto reel in a fish

Derived forms of reel

reelable, adjectivereeler, noun

Word Origin for reel

Old English hrēol; related to Old Norse hrǣll weaver's rod, Greek krekein to weave

British Dictionary definitions for reel off (3 of 4)

/ (riːl, rɪəl) /

verb (mainly intr)

to sway, esp under the shock of a blow or through dizziness or drunkenness
to whirl about or have the feeling of whirling abouthis brain reeled


a staggering or swaying motion or sensation

Word Origin for reel

C14 relen, probably from reel 1

British Dictionary definitions for reel off (4 of 4)

/ (riːl, rɪəl) /


any of various lively Scottish dances, such as the eightsome reel and foursome reel for a fixed number of couples who combine in square and circular formations
a piece of music having eight quavers to the bar composed for or in the rhythm of this dance

Word Origin for reel

C18: from reel ²
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

Idioms and Phrases with reel off

reel off

see rattle off.

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