Distaff Definition

dĭstăf
noun
A staff on which fibers, as flax or wool, are wound before being spun into thread.
Webster's New World
An attachment for a spinning wheel that serves this purpose.
American Heritage
Woman's work or concerns.
Webster's New World
Woman, or women in general.
Webster's New World
adjective
Of or relating to women and girls; female.
American Heritage
Female; specif., designating the maternal side of a family.
Webster's New World
Synonyms:
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Other Word Forms of Distaff

Noun

Singular:
distaff
Plural:
distaffs

Origin of Distaff

  • From Middle English distaf, from Old English distæf (“distaff”), from Old English *dis (cognate with Middle Low German dise (“bunch of flax”)) + Old English stæf (“staff”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English distaf from Old English distæf dis- bunch of flax Middle Dutch disen to prepare a distaff with flax dizen stæf staff

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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