The definition of a mandrel is a spindle, rod or shift on a lathe that something can be fixed to while being turned or being shaped.(noun)
An example of a mandrel is a rod that wood is fixed to while it is being turned.
See mandrel in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: earlier manderil; prob. < Fr mandrin < Prov mandre, spindle, winch, beam (of a balance) < L mamphur, a bow drill < IE base *menth-, to twirl > ON mọndull, handle of a quern
See mandrel in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Possibly alteration of French mandrin, lathe
Origin: , from Provençal mandre, axle, crank
Origin: , from Old Provençal, beam of a balance
Origin: , from Latin mamphur, bow-drill
Origin: , perhaps from Oscan.
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