a. A rod or pin, tapered at one end and usually weighted at the other, on which fibers are spun by hand into thread and then wound.
b. A similar rod or pin used for spinning on a spinning wheel.
c. A pin or rod holding a bobbin or spool on which thread is wound on an automated spinning machine.
2. Any of various mechanical parts that revolve or serve as axes for larger revolving parts, as in a lock, axle, phonograph turntable, or lathe.
3. Any of various long thin stationary rods, as:
a. A spike on which papers may be impaled.
b. A baluster.
4. Biology A cytoplasmic network composed of microtubules along which the chromosomes are distributed during mitosis and meiosis.
5. Anatomy See muscle spindle.
6. Coastal New Jersey See dragonfly.
v. spin·dled, spin·dling, spin·dles
1. To furnish or equip with a spindle or spindles.
2. To impale or perforate on a spindle: Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate this card.
To grow into a thin, elongated, or weak form.
[Middle English spindel, alteration of Old English spinel; see (s)pen- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)spindle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.