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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A few years ago I wanted to invest in a new spindle moulder.
▪ I watched the spindles turning, unraveling this brittle clew that stretched between death and life.
▪ The control unit, the motor and the electronic parts of the spindle were imported.
▪ The Cucuteni graves contained vases, beads, spindle whorls, and three Goddess figurines in each one.
▪ The king ordered all the spindles in the kingdom destroyed.
▪ The severed blade was raised from the sawdust by an unseen hand and re-connected to its spindle.
▪ The sugared spindles and wings of grass Are etched on great goblets.
▪ This is exactly what would be expected if alcohol acts as a spindle disrupting agent.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spindle \Spin"dle\, n. [AS. spinal, fr. spinnan to spin; akin to D. spil, G. spille, spindel, OHG. spinnala. [root]170. See Spin.]

  1. The long, round, slender rod or pin in spinning wheels by which the thread is twisted, and on which, when twisted, it is wound; also, the pin on which the bobbin is held in a spinning machine, or in the shuttle of a loom.

  2. A slender rod or pin on which anything turns; an axis; as, the spindle of a vane. Specifically:

    1. (Mach.) The shaft, mandrel, or arbor, in a machine tool, as a lathe or drilling machine, etc., which causes the work to revolve, or carries a tool or center, etc.

    2. (Mach.) The vertical rod on which the runner of a grinding mill turns.

    3. (Founding) A shaft or pipe on which a core of sand is formed.

  3. The fusee of a watch.

  4. A long and slender stalk resembling a spindle.

  5. A yarn measure containing, in cotton yarn, 15,120 yards; in linen yarn, 14,400 yards.

  6. (Geom.) A solid generated by the revolution of a curved line about its base or double ordinate or chord.

  7. (Zo["o]l.)

    1. Any marine univalve shell of the genus Rostellaria; -- called also spindle stromb.

    2. Any marine gastropod of the genus Fusus.

      Dead spindle (Mach.), a spindle in a machine tool that does not revolve; the spindle of the tailstock of a lathe.

      Live spindle (Mach.), the revolving spindle of a machine tool; the spindle of the headstock of a turning lathe.

      Spindle shell. (Zo["o]l.) See Spindle, 7. above.

      Spindle side, the female side in descent; in the female line; opposed to spear side.
      --Ld. Lytton. [R.] ``King Lycaon, grandson, by the spindle side, of Oceanus.''

      Spindle tree (Bot.), any shrub or tree of the genus Eunymus. The wood of E. Europ[ae]us was used for spindles and skewers. See Prickwood.


Spindle \Spin"dle\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Spindled; p. pr. & vb. n. Spindling.] To shoot or grow into a long, slender stalk or body; to become disproportionately tall and slender.

It has begun to spindle into overintellectuality.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 13c., with intrusive -d-, from Old English spinel "small wooden bar used in hand-spinning," properly "an instrument for spinning," from stem of spinnan (see spin (v.)) + instrumental suffix -le (compare handle, thimble, etc.\n

\nRelated to Old Saxon spinnila, Old Frisian spindel, Old High German spinnila, German Spindel. As a type of something slender, it is attested from 1570s. As with distaff, sometimes formerly used as a metonym for "the female sex," as in Old English spinelhealf "female line of descent," distinguished from sperehealf "male line of descent."


n. 1 (context spinning English) A rod used for spinning and then winding natural fibres (especially wool), usually consisting of a shaft and a circular whorl positioned at either the upper or lower end of the shaft when suspended vertically from the forming thread. 2 A rod which turns, or on which something turns. vb. 1 To make into a long tapered shape. 2 To impale on a device for holding paper documents.

  1. n. (biology) tiny fibers that are seen in cell division; the fibers radiate from two poles and meet at the equator in the middle; "chromosomes are distributed by spindles in mitosis and meiosis"

  2. any of various rotating shafts that serve as axes for larger rotating parts [syn: mandrel, mandril, arbor]

  3. a stick or pin used to twist the yarn in spinning


Spindle or The Spindles may refer to:

Spindle (sculpture)

Spindle was a sculpture created in 1989 by artist Dustin Shuler (1948–2010). It consisted of a 50 foot spike with eight cars impaled on it.

Spindle (automobile)

In an automobile, the spindle is a part of the suspension system that carries the hub for the wheel and attaches to the upper and lower control arms. The spindle is referred to as an Upright in UK-built vehicles and in areas dominated by cars designed for the UK, like Australia, New Zealand etc.

Spindle (disc packaging)

In the context of computer supplies, the word spindle or cakebox may refer to a plastic container for packaging optical discs. It typically consists of a round base with a vertical rod (on which the disks are threaded) and a cylindrical cover. Bulk blank CDs, DVDs, and BDs are often sold in such a package.


Spindle (textiles)

A spindle is a straight spike usually made from wood used for spinning, twisting fibers such as wool, flax, hemp, cotton into yarn. It is often weighted at either the bottom, middle, or top, commonly by a disc or spherical object called a whorl, but many spindles exist that are not weighted by a whorl, but by thickening their shape towards the bottom, such as Orenburg and French spindles. The spindle may also have a hook, groove, or notch at the top to guide the yarn. Spindles come in many different sizes and weights depending on the thickness of the yarn one desires to spin.

Spindle (stationery)

A spindle (or colloquially, a spike) is an upright spike used to hold papers waiting for processing. "Spindling" or "spiking" is the act of spearing a paper document onto the spike.

Spindling accumulates paperwork in a way that would not permit it to be blown about by the summer breeze common prior to the advent of air conditioning. When the spindle was full, a string would be put through the holes to bundle the papers together, and the bundle would be shipped to the archives.

Many spindles come with a plastic safety cap to prevent injury. Many early spindles have bases that are quite decorative. Another colloquialism arising from the use of this device was "spiking", which meant a de facto killing of a controversial newspaper article.

A prohibition against "spindling" a document comprised the middle of three barred practices in the famous post–World War II injunction printed on punched card documents to be processed by computer: " Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate".

Two spindles were used to great effect in the film The Butterfly Effect starring Amy Smart and Eric Stoltz.

Spindle (furniture)

A spindle, in furniture, is a cylindrically symmetric shaft, usually made of wood. A spindle is usually made of a single piece of wood and typically has decoration (also axially symmetric) fashioned by hand or with a lathe. The spindle was common at least as early as the 17th century in Western Europe as an element of chair and table legs, stretchers, candlesticks, balusters, and other pieces of cabinetry. By definition, the axis of a spindle is straight; hence, for example, a spindle-legged chair is a straight-legged design, even though cylindrical symmetry allows decoration of elaborate notches or bulbs, so long as the cylindrical symmetry is preserved.

The spindle leg design is characteristic of many Victorian and earlier Nursing chairs, exposed wood armchairs and a variety of cabinets and tables. In French furniture, the spindle leg may be found on Fauteuils," chairs, a variety of tables and other pieces.

Spindle (tool)

In machine tools, a spindle is a rotating axis of the machine, which often has a shaft at its heart. The shaft itself is called a spindle, but also, in shop-floor practice, the word often is used metonymically to refer to the entire rotary unit, including not only the shaft itself, but its bearings and anything attached to it ( chuck, etc.).

A machine tool may have several spindles, such as the headstock and tailstock spindles on a bench lathe. The main spindle is usually the biggest one. References to "the spindle" without further qualification imply the main spindle. Some machine tools that specialize in high-volume mass production have a group of 4, 6, or even more main spindles. These are called multispindle machines. For example, gang drills and many screw machines are multispindle machines. Although a bench lathe has more than one spindle (counting the tailstock), it is not called a multispindle machine; it has one main spindle.

Examples of spindles include:

  • On a lathe (whether wood lathe or metal lathe), the spindle is the heart of the headstock.
  • In rotating-cutter woodworking machinery, the spindle is the part on which shaped milling cutters are mounted for cutting features (such as rebates, beads, and curves) into mouldings and similar millwork.
  • Similarly, in rotating-cutter metalworking machine tools (such as milling machines and drill presses), the spindle is the shaft to which the tool (such as a drill bit or milling cutter) is attached (for example, via a chuck).
  • Varieties of spindles include grinding spindles, electric spindles, machine tool spindles, low-speed spindles, high speed spindles, and more.

legend.jpg|Lathe headstock: H4 - Spindle legend.jpg|Lathe tailstock: T5 - Spindle spindle lathe 2.JPG|Multi spindle lathe machine (Vertical, Manual) NT.PNG|Vertical milling machine (single spindle): #2 - Spindle

Usage examples of "spindle".

Mallet strode five paces behind the big Napan woman, Spindle trotting at his heels, followed by Antsy, with Trotts a dozen paces back as rearguard.

Gruntle saw other Bridgeburners behind them: Blend, Mallet, Antsy, Spindle, Bluepearl.

Paran, Spindle, Blend, Antsy, Mallet and Bluepearl sat at the one nearest the blazing hearth, barely managing a word among them.

The barographs worked irreproachably the whole time, but one of the thermographs refused absolutely to work in the open air, and unfortunately the spindle pivot of the other broke as early as April 17.

William had nodded off from the opium, I presume, but his bistoury was lying about, because he used it to scrape the spindle between bowls.

Tuck, Danner, Tarpy, and Patrel trudged into the Thornwalker encampment set in the fringes of the Spindlethorn Barrier at Spindle Ford.

The axle itself crossed this stokehold from side to side, piercing through the spindles.

The spindling, round-shouldered, unathletic Brutus looked like a Praxiteles boxer, bulging with muscles, and suitably endowed with an imposing penis, plump long scrotum.

Then, like a woman drawing down thread from a spindle, he willed himself to be a living conduit, bridging the span between heaven and earth, opening himself to channel to the Stone, through blade and window, all the grace so hard won by the Uncrowned King.

The unerasable optical WORM drives came under the glare of powerful lasers, melting them on their spindles.

Travis dropped upon the shrouded sofa, and Condy set himself carefully down on one of the frail chairs with its spindling golden legs, and they began to talk.

Hub is the Spin Decoupler system which connects the Hub to the Main Spindle.

Her senses told her that she was stationary while Detroit and the rest of South Spindle were turning along with the background of stars, but she knew that in reality it was she and the part of Janus that lay north of the Spin Decoupler that were turning at a little under one revolution every minute.

Sleeve was a cylindrical recess located at the axis of the southern part of the Spindle, into which a rotating extension of north Spindle projected through the Decoupler disk.

This fitted on to a small projection at the side of the pistolthe spindle of the serrated wheel which the main spring would spin against the flint gripped in the doghead and, as the pancover slid back, shower sparks into the pan to set off the priming powder and send a spurt of flame down the touchhole into the breech.