Pronunciation: (kwil), [key]
1. one of the large feathers of the wing or tail of a bird.
2. the hard, hollow, basal part of a feather. See illus. under feather.
3. a feather, as of a goose, formed into a pen for writing.
4. one of the hollow spines on a porcupine or hedgehog.
5. a plectrum of a harpsichord.
6. a roll of bark, as of cinnamon, formed in drying.
7. a reed or other hollow stem on which yarn is wound.
8. a bobbin or spool.
9. a toothpick.
10. Mach.
a. a hollow shaft or sleeve through which another independently rotating shaft may pass.
b. a shaft, joined to and supported by two other shafts or machines, for transmitting motion from one to the other.
c. a rotating toolholder used in boring or facing internal angles.
11. a musical pipe, esp. one made from a hollow reed.

1. Textiles.
a. to arrange (fabric) in flutes or cylindrical ridges, as along the edge of a garment, hem, etc.
b. to wind on a quill, as yarn.
2. to penetrate with, or as if with, a quill or quills.
3. to extract a quill or quills from: to quill a duck before cooking it.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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