Pronunciation Noun

reel (plural reels)

  1. A shaky or unsteady gait.
    • 2010, Andrew Koppelman, The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Law (page 92)
      Doubtless the present game of chess was developed through just such fiddling; perhaps someone once thought that the drunken reel of the knight was hostile to the essence of Chess.
  2. A lively dance originating in Scotland; also, the music of this dance; often called a Scottish (or Scotch) reel.
  3. A kind of spool, turning on an axis, on which yarn, threads, lines, or the like, are wound.
    a log reel, used by seamen
    an angler's reel
    a garden reel
    nudge the fruit machine reel
  4. (textiles) A machine on which yarn is wound and measured into lays and hanks, —-- for cotton or linen it is fifty-four inches in circuit; for worsted, thirty inches.
  5. (agriculture) A device consisting of radial arms with horizontal stats, connected with a harvesting machine, for holding the stalks of grain in position to be cut by the knives.
  6. (film) A short compilation of sample film work used as a demonstrative resume in the entertainment industry.
    Synonyms: showreel
  • French: reel
  • Russian: рил
Translations Translations Translations Verb

reel (reels, present participle reeling; past and past participle reeled)

  1. To wind on a reel.
  2. To spin or revolve repeatedly.
  3. To unwind, to bring or acquire something by spinning or winding something else.
    He reeled off some tape from the roll and sealed the package.
  4. To walk shakily or unsteadily; to stagger; move as if drunk or not in control of oneself.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Psalms 107:27–They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man. ↗:
    • 1725, Homer; [William Broome], transl., “Book II”, in The Odyssey of Homer. […], volume I, London: Printed for Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646 ↗:
      He, with heavy fumes oppress'd, / Reel'd from the palace, and retired to rest.
    • the wagons reeling under the yellow sheaves
    • 1996, Janette Turner Hospital, Oyster, Virago Press, paperback edition, page 111
      Sarah reels a little, nevertheless, under the dog's boisterous greeting.
  5. (with back) To back off or step away unsteadily and quickly.
    He reeled back from the punch.
  6. To make or cause to reel.
  7. To have a whirling sensation; to be giddy.
    • In these lengthened vigils his brain often reeled.
    • 1927-29, M.K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, translated 1940 by Mahadev Desai, Part I, Chapter xi ↗:
      The high school had a send-off in my honour. It was an uncommon thing for a young man of Rajkot to go to England. I had written out a few words of thanks. But I could scarcely stammer them out. I remember how my head reeled and how my whole frame shook as I stood up to read them.
  8. To be in shock.
    • 2012 October 31, David M. Halbfinger, "," New York Times (retrieved 31 October 2012):
      New Jersey was reeling on Wednesday from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, which has caused catastrophic flooding here in Hoboken and in other New York City suburbs, destroyed entire neighborhoods across the state and wiped out iconic boardwalks in shore towns that had enchanted generations of vacationgoers.
  9. (obsolete) To roll.
    • And Sisyphus an huge round stone did reel.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: кружи́ть
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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