dead spindle

noun Metalworking.

  1. See under spindle(def 6).


  1. a rounded rod, usually of wood, tapering toward each end, used in hand-spinning to twist into thread the fibers drawn from the mass on the distaff, and on which the thread is wound as it is spun.
  2. the rod on a spinning wheel by which the thread is twisted and on which it is wound.
  3. one of the rods of a spinning machine that bear the bobbins on which the spun thread is wound.
  4. any rod or pin suggestive of a spindle used in spinning, as one that turns around or on which something turns; an axle, axis, or shaft.
  5. a vertical shaft that serves to center a phonograph record on a turntable.
  6. either of two shafts or arbors that support the work on a lathe, one (live spindle) on the headstock, rotating with and imparting motion to the work, the other (dead spindle) on the tailstock, motionless.
  7. a small axis, arbor, or mandrel.
  8. an iron rod or the like, usually with a ball or cage at the top, fixed to a rock, sunken reef, etc., to serve as a guide in navigation.
  9. a measure of yarn, containing, for cotton, 15,120 yards (13,825 meters), and for linen, 14,400 yards (13,267 meters).
  10. a hydrometer.
  11. Cell Biology. a spindle-shaped structure, composed of microtubules, that forms near the cell nucleus during mitosis or meiosis and, as it divides, draws the chromosomes to opposite poles of the cell.
  12. a short, turned or circular ornament, as in a baluster or stair rail.
  13. spindle file.
  14. Eastern New England. a tassel on an ear of corn.
  15. Chiefly New Jersey and Delaware Valley. dragonfly.


  1. spindle side.

verb (used with object), spin·dled, spin·dling.

  1. to give the form of a spindle to.
  2. to provide or equip with a spindle or spindles.
  3. to impale (a card or paper) on a spindle, as for sorting purposes.

verb (used without object), spin·dled, spin·dling.

  1. to shoot up, or grow, into a long, slender stalk or stem, as a plant.
  2. to grow tall and slender, often disproportionately so.


  1. a rod or stick that has a notch in the top, used to draw out natural fibres for spinning into thread, and a long narrow body around which the thread is wound when spun
  2. one of the thin rods or pins bearing bobbins upon which spun thread is wound in a spinning wheel or machine
  3. any of various parts in the form of a rod, esp a rotating rod that acts as an axle, mandrel, or arbor
  4. a piece of wood that has been turned, such as a baluster or table leg
  5. a small square metal shaft that passes through the lock of a door and to which the door knobs or handles are fixed
  6. a measure of length of yarn equal to 18 hanks (15 120 yards) for cotton or 14 400 yards for linen
  7. biology a spindle-shaped structure formed by microtubules during mitosis or meiosis which draws the duplicated chromosomes apart as the cell divides
  8. a less common name for a hydrometer
  9. a tall pole with a marker at the top, fixed to an underwater obstruction as an aid to navigation
  10. a device consisting of a sharp upright spike on a pedestal on which bills, order forms, etc, are impaled
  11. short for spindle tree


  1. (tr) to form into a spindle or equip with spindles
  2. (intr) rare (of a plant, stem, shoot, etc) to grow rapidly and become elongated and thin

Old English spinel, properly “an instrument for spinning,” from stem of spinnan (see spin (v.)), with intrusive -d-. Related to Old Saxon spinnila, Old Frisian spindel, Old High German spinnila, German Spindel. As a type of something slender, it is attested from 1570s.


  1. A fusiform structure, usually composed of microtubules.
  2. Mitotic spindle.

  1. A network of protein fibers that forms in the cytoplasm of a cell during cell division. The spindle grows forth from the centrosomes and attaches to the chromosomes after the latter have been duplicated, and the nuclear membrane dissolves. Once attached, the spindle fibers contract, pulling the duplicate chromosomes apart to opposite poles of the dividing cell. See more at meiosis mitosis.

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