quill

quill
quill-like, adj.
/kwil/, n.
1. one of the large feathers of the wing or tail of a bird.
2. the hard, hollow, basal part of a feather. See illus. under feather.
3. a feather, as of a goose, formed into a pen for writing.
4. one of the hollow spines on a porcupine or hedgehog.
5. a plectrum of a harpsichord.
6. a roll of bark, as of cinnamon, formed in drying.
7. a reed or other hollow stem on which yarn is wound.
8. a bobbin or spool.
9. a toothpick.
10. Mach.
a. a hollow shaft or sleeve through which another independently rotating shaft may pass.
b. a shaft, joined to and supported by two other shafts or machines, for transmitting motion from one to the other.
c. a rotating toolholder used in boring or facing internal angles.
11. a musical pipe, esp. one made from a hollow reed.
v.t.
12. Textiles.
a. to arrange (fabric) in flutes or cylindrical ridges, as along the edge of a garment, hem, etc.
b. to wind on a quill, as yarn.
13. to penetrate with, or as if with, a quill or quills.
14. to extract a quill or quills from: to quill a duck before cooking it.
[1375-1425; late ME quil; cf. LG quiele, G Kiel]

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also called  Calamus,  

      hollow, horny barrel of a bird's feather, used as the principal writing instrument from the 6th century until the mid-19th century, when steel pen points were introduced. The strongest quills were obtained from living birds in their new growth period in the spring. Only the five outer wing feathers (follicles) were considered suitable for writing; the second and third were especially preferred. Quills from the left wing were favoured because the feathers curve outward and away from a right-handed writer.

      Goose feathers were the principal source of quills; quills from the scarcer, more expensive swan were preferred; but for making fine lines, quills from crows were better than either. Quill pens made from feathers of the eagle, owl, hawk, and turkey have also been used.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Quill — Quill, n. [Perhaps fr. F. quille ninepin (see {Kayless}); but cf. also G. kiel a quill. MHG. kil, and Ir. cuille a quill.] 1. One of the large feathers of a bird s wing, or one of the rectrices of the tail; also, the stock of such a feather.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quill — La partie volcanique de la montagne, le cratère The Quill depuis les ruines de la batterie d artillerie Saint Louis Géographie Altitude …   Wikipédia en Français

  • quill — [kwil] n. [ME quil, hollow stalk, weaver s quill, prob. < MLowG or MDu, as in LowG quiele, quill of a feather < ? IE base * gwel , to stick, stab] 1. any of the large, stiff wing or tail feathers of a bird 2. the hollow, horny stem of a… …   English World dictionary

  • Quill — Quill, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Quilled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Quilling}.] 1. To plaint in small cylindrical ridges, called quillings; as, to quill a ruffle. [1913 Webster] His cravat seemed quilled into a ruff. Goldsmith. [1913 Webster] 2. To wind on a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • quill — [kwıl] n [Date: 1400 1500; Origin: Probably from Middle Low German quiele] 1.) also quill pen a pen made from a large bird s feather, used in the past 2.) a stiff bird s feather 3.) one of the long pointed things that grow on the back of a… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • quill — (n.) c.1400, piece of reed or hollow stem, probably related to M.H.G. kil quill, from Low Ger. quiele, of unknown origin. Meaning pens made from quills is from 1550s; that of porcupine spines is from c.1600 …   Etymology dictionary

  • quill — ► NOUN 1) a main wing or tail feather of a bird. 2) the hollow shaft of a feather, especially the lower part that lacks barbs. 3) a pen made from a quill. 4) a hollow sharp spine of a porcupine, hedgehog, etc. ORIGIN probably from Low German… …   English terms dictionary

  • Quill — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Rock Gründung 19?? Auflösung 1970 Gründungsmitgl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • quill — [ kwıl ] noun count 1. ) a long thin sharp object like a stick that grows from the body of PORCUPINES and some other animals 2. ) a large feather from a bird 3. ) an old fashioned pen made from a bird s feather …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Quill — Feathers in stages of being made into quills Ink bottle and quill A quill …   Wikipedia

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