• synonyms


  1. Nathan Farragut,1897–1982, U.S. Air Force general: chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1957–60.
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  1. a strong thread or string composed of two or more strands twisted together.
  2. an act of twining, twisting, or interweaving.
  3. a coiled or twisted object or part; convolution.
  4. a twist or turn in anything.
  5. a knot or tangle.
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verb (used with object), twined, twin·ing.
  1. to twist together; interwind; interweave.
  2. to form by or as by twisting together: to twine a wreath.
  3. to twist (one strand, thread, or the like) with another; interlace.
  4. to insert with a twisting or winding motion (usually followed by in or into): He twined his fingers in his hair.
  5. to clasp or enfold (something) around something else; place by or as if by winding (usually followed by about, around, etc.): She twined her arms about the sculpture and carried it away.
  6. to cause (a person, object, etc.) to be encircled with something else; wreathe; wrap: They twined the arch with flowers.
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verb (used without object), twined, twin·ing.
  1. to wind about something; twist itself in spirals (usually followed by about, around, etc.): Strangling vines twined about the tree.
  2. to wind in a sinuous or meandering course.
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Origin of twine1

before 900; Middle English twine (noun), twinen (v.), Old English twīn (noun) literally, a double or twisted thread; cognate with Dutch twijn; akin to German Zwirn, Old Norse tvinni thread, twine; see twi-
Related formstwine·a·ble, adjectivetwin·er, noun
Can be confusedtwain twin twine


verb (used with or without object), twined, twin·ing. Scot.
  1. to separate; part.
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Also twin.

Origin of twine2

1175–1225; late Middle English twinen, variant of earlier twinnen, derivative of twin twin1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

yarn, braid, string, thread, twist, snarl, knot, whorl, coil, tangle, convolution, cordage, enmesh, bend, wrap, curl, interweave, undulate, spiral, interlace

Examples from the Web for twining

Historical Examples

  • It was to the girl as if the fragrance were twining and winding about her and impelling her like leashes.

    Quaint Courtships


  • Four long, twining tentacles were attached directly to the head.

  • Twining was one of the executors, and could tell him everything.

  • "You are rather a Job's comforter, Twining," said Beecher, tartly.

  • "Quite convinced of that—could swear it," said Twining, eagerly.

British Dictionary definitions for twining


  1. string made by twisting together fibres of hemp, cotton, etc
  2. the act or an instance of twining
  3. something produced or characterized by twining
  4. a twist, coil, or convolution
  5. a knot, tangle, or snarl
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  1. (tr) to twist together; interweaveshe twined the wicker to make a basket
  2. (tr) to form by or as if by twiningto twine a garland
  3. (when intr, often foll by around) to wind or cause to wind, esp in spiralsthe creeper twines around the tree
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Derived Formstwiner, noun

Word Origin

Old English twīn; related to Old Frisian twīne, Dutch twijn twine, Lithuanian dvynu twins; see twin
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 twining



Old English twin "double thread," from Proto-Germanic *twizna- (cf. Dutch twijn, Low German twern, German zwirn "twine, thread"), from the same root as twin (q.v.). The verb meaning "to twist strands together to form twine" is recorded from late 13c.; sense of "to twist around something" (as twine does) is recorded from c.1300. Related: Twined; twining.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper