definitions
  • synonyms

skein

[ skeyn ]
/ skeɪn /
|
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR skein ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

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.

RELATED WORDS

knot, rummage, complication, thread, web, mess, muddle, mesh, snag, twist, labyrinth, snarl, mass, jungle, maze, entanglement, coil, mix-up, jam, strand

Nearby words

skeezicks, skeezy, skeg, skeif, skeigh, skein, skeletal, skeletal extension, skeletal muscle, skeletal system, skeletal traction

Origin of skein

1400–50; late Middle English skeyne, skayne < Middle French escaigne < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skein

British Dictionary definitions for skein

skein

/ (skeɪn) /

noun

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

C15: from Old French escaigne, 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 skein

skein


n.

"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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper