[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. reeffish,
  2. reefing,
  3. reefing jacket,
  4. reek,
  5. reeky,
  6. reel man,
  7. reel of three,
  8. reel off,
  9. reel-fed,
  10. reel-to-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

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

British Dictionary definitions for reel off

reel off


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


/ (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 Formsreelable, adjectivereeler, noun

Word Origin for reel

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


/ (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


/ (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

Word Origin and History for reel off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.