Definition of skein in English:

skein

Line breaks: skein
Pronunciation: /skeɪn
 
/

noun

  • 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.

Origin

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

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