Pronunciation Noun

skein (plural skeins)

  1. A quantity of yarn, thread, or the like, put up together, after it is taken from the reel. A skein of cotton yarn is formed by eighty turns of the thread around a fifty-four inch reel.
    • 1935, T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral, Part I:
      You hold the skein: wind, Thomas, wind
      The thread of eternal life and death.
  2. (figuratively) A web, a weave, a tangle.
    • 1923, Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Creeping Man"
      The practical application of what I have said is very close to the problem which I am investigating. It is a tangled skein, you understand, and I am looking for a loose end.
  3. (zoology) The membrane of a fish ovary.
  4. (wagonmaking) A metallic strengthening band or thimble on the wooden arm of an axle.
  5. (zoology, provincial England) A group of wild fowl, (e.g. geese, goslings) when they are in flight.
  6. (sports) A winning streak.
Translations Translations
  • Spanish: enredo
  • French: membrane des oeufs
Translations Verb

skein (skeins, present participle skeining; past and past participle skeined)

  1. To wind or weave into a skein.

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