A quill being used as a pen.
An example of a quill is what people used for writing with ink before metal pen tips were invented.
- any of the large, stiff wing or tail feathers of a bird
- the hollow, horny stem of a feather; calamus
- any of the spines of a porcupine or hedgehog
- any of various things made from the quill of a feather, specif., a pen for writing
- a musical pipe made of a hollow stem, reed, or cane
- a weaver's spindle or bobbin
- a hollow shaft in certain mechanical devices
- Pharmacy a small roll of dried bark, as of cinchona, cinnamon, etc.
Origin of quillMiddle English quil, hollow stalk, weaver's quill, probably ; from Middle Low German or MDu, as in Low German quiele, quill of a feather ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European base an unverified form gwel-, to stick, stab
- to form with or into quillings
- to wind (thread or yarn) on a quill (sense )
- to cover or pierce with quills, as of a porcupine
- The hollow stemlike main shaft of a feather. Also called calamus.
- Any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird.
- A writing pen made from the shaft of a feather.
- Music a. A plectrum for a stringed instrument of the clavichord type.b. A pipe having a hollow stem.
- A toothpick made from the stem of a feather.
- One of the sharp hollow spines of a porcupine or hedgehog.
- A spindle or bobbin around which yarn is wound in weaving.
- A hollow shaft that rotates on a solid shaft when gears are engaged.
verbquilled, quill·ing, quills
- To wind (thread or yarn) onto a quill.
- To make or press small ridges in (fabric).
Origin of quillMiddle English quil.
- A surname.