Definition of skein in English:


Line breaks: skein
Pronunciation: /skeɪn


1A length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted.
More example sentences
  • I drove to the beautiful Fisher Building in Detroit and then I counted skeins and skeins of yarn for the inventory at City Knits.
  • Embellished with cascades of semi-precious stones, crystal beads, dabka, and vivid skeins of fine silk thread, the focus here is on detailing and embroidery.
  • I left the store with a few new skeins of yarn and an entire set of round looms.
1.1An element that forms part of a complex or complicated whole: he weaves together the skeins of philosophy, ecology, folklore, and history
More example sentences
  • They did it by wrapping them in a skein of giant airbags.
  • Wil's formative years are shrouded in mystery, concealed from the public by a skein of lies and deceptions so complex that it has taken more than a decade for Wheaton researchers to unravel.
  • Caught in a skein of unresolved tensions, unspoken fear, and undefined destinations, the children adjust in their silent, obscure manner.
2A flock of wild geese or swans in flight, typically in a V-shaped formation.
More example sentences
  • Skies were clear over South Sligo and East Mayo as skeins of wild geese winged their way towards the west coast.
  • The blue train sped with the precision of a skein of geese in flight.
  • Overhead skeins of geese and small flights of duck were moving south for the winter.


Middle English: shortening of Old French escaigne, of unknown origin.

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