What does quill mean?

Definitions for quillkwɪl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word quill.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. quill, quill pen(noun)

    pen made from a bird's feather

  2. quill(noun)

    a stiff hollow protective spine on a porcupine or hedgehog

  3. flight feather, pinion, quill, quill feather(noun)

    any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird

  4. quill, calamus, shaft(noun)

    the hollow spine of a feather


  1. quill(Noun)

    The lower shaft of a feather, specifically the region lacking barbs.

  2. quill(Noun)

    A pen made from a feather.

  3. quill(Noun)

    Any pen.

  4. quill(Noun)

    A sharply pointed, barbed, and easily detached needle-like structure that grows on the skin of a porcupine or hedgehog as a defense against predators.

  5. quill(Noun)

    A thin piece of bark, especially of cinnamon or cinchona, curled up into a tube.

  6. quill(Verb)

    To pierce or be pierced with quills.

  7. quill(Verb)

    To write.

  8. quill(Verb)

    To form fabric into small, rounded folds.

  9. quill(Verb)

    To decorate with quillwork.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Quill(noun)

    one of the large feathers of a bird's wing, or one of the rectrices of the tail; also, the stock of such a feather

  2. Quill(noun)

    a pen for writing made by sharpening and splitting the point or nib of the stock of a feather; as, history is the proper subject of his quill

  3. Quill(noun)

    a spine of the hedgehog or porcupine

  4. Quill(noun)

    the pen of a squid. See Pen

  5. Quill(noun)

    the plectrum with which musicians strike the strings of certain instruments

  6. Quill(noun)

    the tube of a musical instrument

  7. Quill(noun)

    something having the form of a quill

  8. Quill(noun)

    the fold or plain of a ruff

  9. Quill(noun)

    a spindle, or spool, as of reed or wood, upon which the thread for the woof is wound in a shuttle

  10. Quill(noun)

    a hollow spindle

  11. Quill(verb)

    to plaint in small cylindrical ridges, called quillings; as, to quill a ruffle

  12. Quill(verb)

    to wind on a quill, as thread or yarn

  13. Origin: [Perhaps fr. F. quille ninepin (see Kayless); but cf. also G. kiel a quill. MHG. kil, and Ir. cuille a quill.]


  1. Quill

    A quill pen is a writing implement made from a moulted flight feather of a large bird. Quills were used for writing with ink before the invention of the dip pen, the metal-nibbed pen, the fountain pen, and, eventually, the ballpoint pen. The hand-cut goose quill is still used as a calligraphy tool, however rarely because many papers are now derived from wood pulp and wear down the quill very quickly. It is still the tool of choice for a few professionals and provides an unmatched sharp stroke as well as greater flexibility than a steel pen. In a carefully prepared quill the slit does not widen through wetting and drying with ink. It will retain its shape adequately and only requires infrequent sharpening and can be used time and time again until there is little left of it. The hollow shaft of the feather acts as an ink reservoir and ink flows to the tip by capillary action. The strongest quills come from the primary flight feathers discarded by birds during their annual moult. Generally the left wing is favored by the right-handed majority of writers because the feather curves away from the sight line, over the back of the hand, although because of the modern scarcity of substantial quills this is rarely a consideration as the curvature is not actually so pronounced as to cause any difficulty in the writing process.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Quill

    kwil, n. a fold of a plaited or fluted ruff.—v.t. to flute: form with rounded ridges.—adj. Quilled, crimped, fluted.—n. Quill′ing, a narrow bordering of plaited lace or ribbon. [Fr. quille, a keel.]

  2. Quill

    kwil, n. a reed-pen: the feather of a goose or other bird used as a pen, hence a pen generally: the profession of letters: anything like a quill: the hollow basal stem of a feather: one of the large hollow sharp spines (modified hairs) of the hedgehog, porcupine, &c.: the reed on which weavers wind their thread: the instrument for striking the strings of certain instruments: the tube of a musical instrument: the hollow shaft or mandril of the seal-engraver's lathe: a train for igniting a blast: bark in a cylindrical roll.—v.t. to plait with small ridges like quills: to wind on a quill: to pluck out quills from.—ns. Quill′-driv′er (slang), one who works with a quill or pen, a clerk; Quill′-driv′ing, writing.—adj. Quilled, furnished with quills, or formed into a quill.—ns. Quill′-nib, a quill-pen shortened for use with a holder; Quill′-turn, the machine in which a weaver's quill is turned; Quill′-work, embroidery with porcupine quills, done by the North American Indians; Quill′-wort, any plant of the genus Isoëtes, esp. Isoëtes lacustris.—In the quill (Shak.), perhaps=penned, though others interpret 'in form and order like a quilled ruff.' [Explained by Skeat as orig. a stalk, hence anything pointed, O. Fr. quille, a peg—Old High Ger. kegil or chegil (Ger. kegel), a cone-shaped object, ninepin.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of quill in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of quill in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Images & Illustrations of quill

  1. quillquillquill

Translations for quill

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