Definition of Quill

1. Noun. Pen made from a bird's feather.

Exact synonyms: Quill Pen
Generic synonyms: Pen

2. Noun. A stiff hollow protective spine on a porcupine or hedgehog.
Group relationships: Erinaceus Europaeus, Erinaceus Europeaeus, Hedgehog, Hedgehog, Porcupine
Generic synonyms: Spine

3. Noun. Any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird.
Exact synonyms: Flight Feather, Pinion, Quill Feather
Generic synonyms: Feather, Plumage, Plume
Group relationships: Wing
Specialized synonyms: Primary, Primary Feather, Primary Quill, Tail Feather
Derivative terms: Pinion

4. Noun. The hollow spine of a feather.
Exact synonyms: Calamus, Shaft
Group relationships: Feather, Plumage, Plume
Generic synonyms: Rib

Definition of Quill

1. n. 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. v. t. To plaint in small cylindrical ridges, called quillings; as, to quill a ruffle.

3. n. A roll of dried bark; as, a quill of cinnamon or of cinchona.

Definition of Quill

1. Noun. The lower shaft of a feather, specifically the region lacking barbs. ¹

2. Noun. A pen made from a feather. ¹

3. Noun. (figuratively) Any pen.''Oxford English Dictionary'', 2nd ed., 1989. ¹

4. 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. ¹

5. Noun. A thin piece of bark, especially of cinnamon or cinchona, curled up into a tube. ¹

6. Verb. To pierce or be pierced with quills. ¹

7. Verb. (figuratively) To write. ¹

8. Verb. To form fabric into small, rounded folds. ¹

9. Verb. To decorate with quillwork. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Quill

1. to press small ridges in [v -ED, -ING, -S]

Medical Definition of Quill

1. 1. 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. 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. A spine of the hedgehog or porcupine. The pen of a squid. See Pen. 4. The plectrum with which musicians strike the strings of certain instruments. The tube of a musical instrument. "He touched the tender stops of various quills." (Milton) 5. Something having the form of a quill; as: The fold or plain of a ruff. A hollow spindle. Quill bit, a bit for boring resembling the half of a reed split lengthways and having its end sharpened like a gouge. Quill driver, one who works with a pen; a writer; a clerk. Quill nib, a small quill pen made to be used with a holder. Origin: Perhaps fr. F. Quille ninepin (see Kayless); but cf. Also G. Kiel a quill. MHG. Kil, and Ir. Cuille a quill. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Quill Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Quill

quill (current term)
quill feather
quill pen
quillaia bark

Literary usage of Quill

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present: A Dictionary, Historical and by John Stephen Farmer, William Ernest Henley (1902)
"The subject which is now UNDER THE quill is the Bishop of Lincoln. ... This Aphorism is but borrowed from another BROTHER OF THE quill. 1691-2. Cent. ..."

2. The Great industries of the United States: being an historical summary of by Horace Greeley (1873)
"By an ingenious hand machine, which makes a pen at one operation, large numbers of ready-made quill pens are manufactured and put up in boxes. ..."

3. The Cyclopædia;: Or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Abraham Rees by Abraham Rees (1819)
"... white ; band behind the ears and quill-feathers black. A variety has the bill and legs black. It inhabits Cayenne ; and ia fifteen inches long. ..."

4. The Life of an Actor by Pierce Egan (1904)
"quill in his Glory, surrounded by Men of Talent. A Compliment to the late JOHN EMERY. A Sketch of Country Managers. PROTEUS joins a respectable Company at ..."

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