—n. 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 m), and for linen, 14,400 yards (13,267 m).
10. a hydrometer.
11. Cell Biol.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. See spindle file. 14. Eastern New Eng.a tassel on an ear of corn.
15. Chiefly New Jersey and Delaware Valley.dragonfly.
—adj. See spindle side.
—v.t. 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.
—v.i. 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.