• A kitten plays with a reel of thread
    A kitten plays with a reel of thread
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v reel wind onto or off a reel
    • v reel walk as if unable to control one's movements "The drunken man staggered into the room"
    • v reel revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis "The dervishes whirl around and around without getting dizzy"
    • n reel an American country dance which starts with the couples facing each other in two lines
    • n reel a lively dance of Scottish Highlanders; marked by circular moves and gliding steps
    • n reel a winder around which thread or tape or film or other flexible materials can be wound
    • n reel winder consisting of a revolving spool with a handle; attached to a fishing rod
    • n reel a roll of photographic film holding a series of frames to be projected by a movie projector
    • n reel music composed for dancing a reel
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Chameleons can reel in food from a distance as far away as more than two and a half times their body lengths.
    • Reel (Agric) 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.
    • Reel A frame with radial arms, or a kind of spool, turning on an axis, on which yarn, threads, lines, or the like, are wound; as, a log reel, used by seamen; an angler's reel; a garden reel .
    • n Reel rēl A lively dance of the Highlanders of Scotland; also, the music to the dance; -- often called Scotch reel.
    • Reel 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.
    • n Reel rēl The act or motion of reeling or staggering; as, a drunken reel .
    • Reel To have a whirling sensation; to be giddy. "In these lengthened vigils his brain often reeled ."
    • Reel To incline, in walking, from one side to the other; to stagger. "They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man.""He, with heavy fumes oppressed, Reeled from the palace, and retired to rest.""The wagons reeling under the yellow sheaves."
    • Reel To roll. "And Sisyphus an huge round stone did reel ."
    • Reel To wind upon a reel, as yarn or thread.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: To make things easier while mixing the American Graffiti sound track, George Lucas and sound designer Walter Murch labeled all of the film reels R and all of the dialogue tracks D, and then numbered each of them sequentially, starting with 1. When Murch later asked Lucas for Reel 2 Dialogue 2 or more precisely, R2 D2 Lucas liked the way it sounded so much that he made a note of the name for another project he was writing.
    • n reel A cylinder or frame turning on an axis, on which thread, yarn, string, rope, etc, are wound. Specifically— A roller or bobbin for thread used in sewing; a spool.
    • n reel A machine on which yarn is wound to form it into hanks, skeins, etc.
    • n reel In rope-making, the frame on which the spun-yarns are wound as each length is twisted, previous to tarring or laying up into strands.
    • n reel The revolving frame upon which silk-fiber is wound from the cocoon.
    • n reel Anything prepared for winding thread upon, as an open framework turning on a pivot at each end, upon which thread is wound as it is spun, or when a skein is opened for use.
    • n reel In telegraphy, a barrel on which the strip of paper for receiving the message is wound in a recording telegraph.
    • n reel A winch used by English and Scotch whalemen for regaining the tow-line. It is not employed by Americans.
    • n reel Nautical, a revolving frame varying in size, used for winding up hawsers, hose, lead-line, loglines, etc.
    • n reel A windlass for hoisting oyster-dredges.
    • n reel In milling, the drum on which the bolting cloth is placed.
    • n reel In agriculture, a cylinder formed of light slats and radial arms, used with a reaper to gather the grain into convenient position for the knives to operate on it, and to direct its fall on the platform.
    • n reel In baking, a cylindrical frame carrying bread-pans suspended from the horizontal arms of the frame. It is used in a form of oven called a reel oven.
    • n reel A device used in angling, attached to the rod, for winding the line, consisting of a cylinder revolving on an axis moved by a small crank or spring. The salmon-reel is about four inches, and the trout-reel about two inches in diameter; the length is about two inches. In angling the reel plays an important part, its use and action requiring to be in perfect accord or correspondence with the play of the rod and line. To meet these requirements, clicks and multipliers are employed. The click checks the line from running out too freely, and the multiplier gathers in the slack with increased speed.
    • n reel A hose-carriage.
    • reel To wind upon a reel, as yarn or thread from the spindle, or a fishing-line.
    • reel To turn round and round; whirl.
    • reel To sway from side to side in standing or walking; stagger, especially as one drunk.
    • reel To be affected with a whirling or dizzy sensation: as, his brain reeled.
    • reel Synonyms Reel, Stagger, and Totter have in common the idea of an involuntary unsteadiness, a movement toward falling. Only animate beings reel or stagger; a tower or other erect object may toter. Reel suggests dizziness or other loss of balance; stagger suggests a burden too great to be carried steadily, or a walk such as one would have in carrying such a burden; totter suggests weakness: one reels upon being struck on the head; a drunken man, a wounded man, staggers; the infant and the very aged totter.
    • reel To turn about; roll about.
    • reel To roll.
    • reel To reel or stagger through.
    • reel To cause to reel, stagger, totter, or shake.
    • n reel A staggering motion, as that of a drunken man; giddiness.
    • n reel (The attendant … carries off Lepidus [drunk].)… Eno, Drink thou; increase the reels.
    • n reel A lively dance, danced by two or three couples, and consisting of various circliug or intertwining figures. it is very popular in Scotland. The strathspey (which see) is slower, and full of sudden jerks and turns.
    • n reel Music for such a dance or in its rhythm, which is duple (or rarely sextuple), and characterized by notes of equal length.
    • reel To dance the reel; especially, to describe the figure 8 as in a reel.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Bavarian immigrant Charles August Fey invented the first three-reel automatic payout slot machine, the Liberty Bell, in San Francisco in 1899.
    • n Reel rēl a lively Scottish dance for two couples or more, its music generally written in common time of four crotchets in a measure, but sometimes in jig time of six quavers: music for such a dance
    • v.i Reel to dance a reel
    • n Reel rēl a rolling or turning frame for winding yarn, &c
    • v.t Reel to wind on a reel
    • v.i Reel rēl to stagger: to vacillate
    • n Reel giddiness
    • ***


  • Dorothy Parker
    “Drink, and dance and laugh and lie, love the reeling midnight through, for tomorrow we shall die! (But, alas, we never do.)”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. hreól,: cf. Icel. hræll, a weaver's reed or sley


In literature:

And this joy was so sudden and overwhelming that he reeled under it.
"Cruel As The Grave" by Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth
A blind piper sat on a stone bench outside the inn and played a reel for some boys and girls who danced on the road.
"The Northern Iron" by George A. Birmingham
Chichester reeled in his line and sat down.
"Days Off" by Henry Van Dyke
The cabin quivered and reeled, and black darkness shut out the pale gray twilight.
"The Camp in the Snow" by William Murray Graydon
He reeled against the wall.
"The Snowshoe Trail" by Edison Marshall
Where did we get the first silkworm eggs, and who thought of reeling the silk from the cocoons?
"The Story of Silk" by Sara Ware Bassett
She wanted me to reel for her.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4" by Work Projects Administration
She reeled back, her face crimsoning from the blow and the shame.
"Hunters Out of Space" by Joseph Everidge Kelleam
Then he reeled toward the counter and asked the clerk to give him a pistol.
"Blue Ridge Country" by Jean Thomas
He reeled and almost fell.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine

In poetry:

But while she reels thus to and fro
The sickest of the sick am I
And from my system would I throw
It's last contents, or even die.
"Descriptive Voyage From New York To Aspinwall" by James Madison Bell
Spare him, O spare :-- he feels,-- he feels!
Big tears roll from his eyes;
Another crushing blow! -- he reels,
Staggers,-- and falls,-- and dies.
"Cruelty" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Andy replied not. Unto him the sky was
All reeling stars; his breath
Came thick and fast; and life an empty lie was;
True one thing only—Death.
"His Mate" by Victor James Daley
V. But reeling, spills the crimson tide
Which o'er thy tintless bosom flows;
And now that bosom's snowy pride
With love's own colouring warmly glows.
"Cupid Tipsy" by Sydney Owenson
A thousand times his reeling steps had trode
The fatal path, and still escaped the doom
That sent him unprepared to meet his God,
And to a lone, unwept, unhonour'd tomb.
"On Seeing A Dead Body of A Man" by Janet Hamilton
'Tis bad to see a judge disguis'd with beer,
Or find a justice sprawling in the street —
'Tis bad, to see a reeling, stamm'ring peer —
But 'tis far worse, a drunken priest to meet.
"Advice To The Drunkard" by Rees Prichard

In news:

CBS brings us this video of a young girl, Sam Gordon, 9, of Herriman, Utah, with an impressive football highlight reel.
Here's a highlight reel from the 2012 FISE mountain bike event.
This fish story will truly reel you in.
Fishtank Ensemble reels 'em in.
Fly Rod & Reel Online Video Journal.
This video features SIMMS owner KC Walsh but it's WAY more than a promotional reel.
Stronger, lighter, faster, more realistic - you've heard those buzzwords for everything from lures to line and reels to rods.
I have the Following Reels and Rods and spools of line for sale.
Florida teen reels in 800-pound alligator.
The photo shows a shelf in my basement with various reels, long out of service, that I can't bring myself to throw away.
' Fizzing ' can keep reeled-in fish healthy.
Reel Mentors Flapjack fundraiser Nov 17 in Charlotte.
Man Reels in Mississippi Record Flathead.
The entire economy is reeling from the recession, but construction particularly has been hit hard.
The pitcher has thrown a work of art—no hits, no home runs, no sacrifices, no bottom-of-the-ninth heroics—but the genius is in the details, not the highlight reel.

In science:

Bochnak, J., Coste, M., and Roy, M. 1987. G´eom´etrie Alg´ebrique R´eel le.
First-order Complete and Computationally Complete Query Languages for Spatio-Temporal Databases
Allouche, Nouveaux r´esultats de transcendance de r´eels `a d´eveloppements non al´eatoire, Gaz.
On the complexity of algebraic numbers II. Continued fractions
Roy, G´eom´etrie alg´ebrique r´eel le, Springer-Verlag (1987).
Efficient algorithm for computing the Euler-Poincar\'e characteristic of a semi-algebraic set defined by few quadratic inequalities
Sur certaines fonctionnelles exponentielles du mouvement brownien r´eel. J.
Supercritical branching diffusions in random environment
Roy, G´eom´etrie Alg´ebrique R´eel le, SpringerVerlag, 1987; revised English translation, Real Algebraic Geometry, Ergebn.
The discriminant and the determinant of a hypersurface of even dimension