[ spool ]
/ spul /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to wind.
to unwind.

Nearby words

  1. spoof,
  2. spoofery,
  3. spoofing,
  4. spook,
  5. spooky,
  6. spoom,
  7. spoon,
  8. spoon back,
  9. spoon bow,
  10. spoon bread

Origin of spool

1275–1325; Middle English spole < Middle Dutch spoele or Middle Low German spōle; cognate with German Spule

Related formsspool·er, nounspool·like, adjectiveun·spool, verb (used with object)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spooling

British Dictionary definitions for spooling


/ (spuːl) /


a device around which magnetic tape, film, cotton, etc, can be automatically wound, with plates at top and bottom to prevent it from slipping off
anything round which other materials, esp thread, are wound


(sometimes foll by up) to wind or be wound onto a spool or reel

Word Origin for spool

C14: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German spuolo, Middle Dutch spoele

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 spooling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for spooling


[ spōōl ]

To store data that is sent to a device, such as a printer, in a buffer that the device reads. This procedure allows the program that sent the data to the device to resume its normal operation without waiting for the device to process the data.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.