- a length of yarn or thread wound on a reel or swift preparatory for use in manufacturing.
- anything wound in or resembling such a coil: a skein of hair.
- something suggestive of the twistings of a skein: an incoherent skein of words.
- a flock of geese, ducks, or the like, in flight.
- a succession or series of similar or interrelated things: a skein of tennis victories.
Origin of skein
Related Words for skeinknot, rummage, complication, thread, web, mess, muddle, mesh, snag, twist, labyrinth, snarl, mass, jungle, maze, entanglement, coil, mix-up, jam, strand
Examples from the Web for skein
Historical Examples of skein
She will remember now that a skein of hemp thread is not the thing to line her nest with.Tales From Two Hemispheres
Hjalmar Hjorth Boysen
There was a skein of blue silk swinging over the edge of the table.The Flying Mercury
Eleanor M. Ingram
In the evening it was a pleasure to hold a skein of yarn for her to wind.Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times
Charles Carleton Coffin
That doesn't matter a bit, you must wait till the skein is unwound.
It was this time a skein of silk that the little lady wanted to have unwound.
- a length of yarn, etc, wound in a long coil
- something resembling this, such as a lock of hair
- a flock of geese flyingCompare gaggle (def. 2)
Word Origin for skein
"fixed quantity of yarn doubled over and over and knotted, mid-15c., from Middle French escaigne "a hank of yarn" (Old French escagne, mid-14c., Modern French écagne), of uncertain origin. Cf. Medieval Latin scagna "a skein," Irish sgainne "a skein, clue."