Main definitions of coil in English

: coil1coil2

coil1

noun

  • 1A length of something wound or arranged in a spiral or sequence of rings.

    ‘a coil of rope’
    • ‘Dia now also oversees the mother of all earthworks, Spiral Jetty, a great coil of rocks built by Robert Smithson into the Great Salt Lake in Utah in 1970.’
    • ‘I had yet to tie together a thousand feet of rope, but hoping that I might be able to momentarily, I tied one end of the rope to a large iron stanchion and hooked the massive coil of line over the polished oak rail.’
    • ‘Hogan is best known for his polychromatic relief paintings made by pouring Rhoplex over concentric coils of rope laid out in geometric patterns.’
    • ‘The woman pushed back the sagging coil of her hair and pulled the receiver out of the girl's hand.’
    • ‘He released the coil of hair so it sprang into a curl.’
    • ‘Her hair was black, gleaming and pulled back severely - almost ruthlessly - into a twisted coil of tight loops at the base of her neck.’
    • ‘The rest of the room was littered with people, variously scattered on old wooden reels that once were the core of a coil of industrial cable, or on long wooden benches, or propped against the walls.’
    • ‘They would have a coil of fake pearls that would be wound around their curls.’
    • ‘In the far corner of the room was a coil of thick rope.’
    • ‘Levitan had a heavy coil of climbing rope strapped to his green pack.’
    • ‘Scientists this week finished removing sediment from the ballast tanks of the sub after recovering a coil of waterlogged rope.’
    • ‘Madden waited for several minutes and watched the coil of rope slowly play out as the two children descended deeper into the bowels of Morecook's cabinet fastness.’
    • ‘They were carrying a long coil of rope, and were saying something in sign language that was probably equivalent to ‘Grab the rope and tie it to something,’’
    • ‘The weighing scales took pride of place on the counter and I was keenly interested on the large coil of twine and stack of brown paper which were used to keep everyone's messages together.’
    • ‘They wrapped themselves in Maliphant's movement as if it were an endless coil of cloth, one that let them melt or grapple or build precarious lifts without ever interrupting the flow of the material.’
    • ‘In his dry suit with the tool kit, hammer, stakes, and a coil of yellow nylon line, he looks like some oversized cartoon character, good or evil, Jimmy's not sure which.’
    • ‘‘We're following the ancient Cinnamon Route,’ he says proudly, seated atop a coil of rope in the ship's bow as it skims across the Java Sea.’
    • ‘He insisted on wearing both items all day and so I had to help him fasten the coil of whip to his belt loop because he couldn't figure out how to make it stay.’
    • ‘Another way to maintain necessary contact time is to run the chlorinated water through a coil of pipe.’
    • ‘Raven talking is a rare event, and so you have to play the game wondering things like, ‘Is that thing on the floor a coil of rope or a snake?’’
    1. 1.1 A single ring or loop in a length of coil.
      ‘the snake wrapped its coils around her’
      • ‘Successful right bronchial artery embolization was performed with coils.’
      • ‘In one variant of the receiver, the coils are collinear and are wound about cores that are mounted in pairs of diametrically opposed apertures in the housing of the probe.’
      • ‘Her bleached blonde hair is dragged up into neat golden coils of plaiting, like a sleeping snake on her head.’
      • ‘They can be corrected by surgery or by radiologic placement of coils in the dilated veins.’
      • ‘After death, tangled loops and coils of a fibre-like material of beta-amyloid protein, can be observed in brain tissue.’
      • ‘The two sisters both rested their hands on the coils of the great snake and stroked it gently as others would stroke a sleeping cat.’
      • ‘Wolfus struggled to reach for his sword, and slashed off the coils with a single swipe.’
      • ‘Mike gripped the snake's coils and began to peel it from around the woman's arm.’
      • ‘Scurry washed and blow-dried the model's natural hair, then wrapped individual pieces around a small-barrel curling iron to set coils.’
      • ‘In its place, the diesel unwreathed coils of black smoke over a typical, hard-worked Kerala landscape of coconuts and rice paddies broken occasionally by broad sluggish rivers and clattering bridges.’
      • ‘Seti's black eyes lit up, and several tentacles were instantly flung around Indigo's torso and chest, constricting like snake coils.’
      • ‘He watched as the coil rose above their heads, and then he tried to pry the snake away as it began to tighten its coils around them.’
      • ‘I nipped one coil off the trigger return spring.’
      • ‘One end of the clay cord was formed into a loop and fastened with a smaller coil of clay wrapped around it.’
      • ‘It tightens the coils by contracting the individual muscles between its ribs and so prevents the prey from moving.’
      • ‘Merely uncoil the roll of mesh so there are 3 feet or so between each coil.’
      • ‘She then wrapped pieces around medium- and small-barrel curling irons to set coils.’
      • ‘Then, I saw the smoke of the incense rise in a spiral, just like the coils of a snake, you know.’
      loop, twist, turn, curl, hoop, roll, ring, twirl, gyre, whorl, scroll, curlicue, convolution
      spiral, helix, corkscrew
      volute, volution
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A roll of postage stamps, especially one for use in a vending machine.
      • ‘They were also issued with coils containing labels instead of the postage stamps.’
    3. 1.3 A slow-burning spiral made with the dried paste of pyrethrum powder, which produces a smoke that inhibits mosquitoes from biting.
      • ‘With a lit coil around, the mosquitoes begin coughing and either stay away or soon die.’
      • ‘The first thing I had to do was photograph the interior of my bungalow before the air got hazy with the smoke from the smouldering mosquito-repellent coils.’
      • ‘The cup-shaped vessel specially made to keep the lighted mosquito repellent coil, candle stand and small teacups are among the attractions.’
      • ‘The use of mosquito repellents, especially coils, mats and liquids, apparently will have harmful effects on the health.’
      • ‘‘For villagers who can not afford to purchase a mosquito net or coils, Jatrohpa is the answer to their cry,’ said Munengu.’
    4. 1.4often the coil An intrauterine contraceptive device in the form of a coil.
      • ‘The generally accepted medical practice in the use of the coil as a post-coital contraceptive device is that it may properly be introduced at any time up to the 20th day.’
      • ‘Many contraceptives, such as the coil or the morning after pill, are abortive tools.’
      • ‘Some people object to the contraindications of the coil.’
      • ‘Like other coils, the Mirena coil is also a contraceptive.’
      • ‘Intrauterine devices, also known as coils, are rigid contraceptive devices that are inserted into the uterus by a doctor.’
      • ‘It's the sort of consignment Jan takes with her whenever she visits Romania, along with contraceptive coils and coffee.’
      • ‘On the same day a woman with the same name was due to have her contraceptive coil removed.’
      • ‘I was angry because, using a coil, I had made every effort to prevent a pregnancy.’
      • ‘If you have a contraceptive coil fitted, you must tell the radiographer as some have copper wire in them.’
      • ‘The IUD is a small, plastic and copper device that used to be known as the coil.’
      • ‘Difficulties associated with older generation coils, such as heavy and sometimes painful periods, promise to be overcome.’
      • ‘It would also open the door to other claims against the mini-pill and intra-uterine devices such as the coil, which would make a similar mockery of the law outlined in the Abortion Act and of basic common sense.’
      • ‘She had been protected from pregnancy through an intrauterine coil, which had been inserted under general anaesthetic but which was due to be replaced.’
      • ‘The scenario of men and women choosing from a pick 'n' mix of pills, patches, injections, condoms and coils, catering for various lifestyles and needs, is not just a fantasy.’
      • ‘If pregnancy does occur while using a coil, there is a small risk of an ectopic pregnancy.’
      • ‘It is best not to use the coil for contraception after PID has been diagnosed.’
      • ‘The packs will include two condoms, a coil, lip balm, hand warmers, information on safe sex and emergency phone numbers.’
      • ‘Mirena is the brand name of a new type of intra-uterine contraceptive device, or coil.’
      • ‘The contraceptive coil seems to increase the risk of BV.’
      • ‘Also, there is no significant delay in return to fertility after stopping the pill or having a coil removed.’
    5. 1.5 An electrical device consisting of a length of wire arranged in a coil for converting the level of a voltage, producing a magnetic field, or adding inductance to a circuit.
      ‘a relay coil’
      • ‘The pickup's magnetic field is disturbed when iron or steel moves through it; this disturbance generates A / C voltage in the coil.’
      • ‘This gear rotates coils of wire within a magnetic field inside the generator, creating electricity.’
      • ‘Electricity is produced when coils of wire inside the generator create a pulse as they move through a magnetic field, Sagrillo said.’
      • ‘Solenoids also supply voltage to the glow coil and are part of the electrical loop.’
      • ‘Changing levels of current in the wires of an electric coil wrapped around a magnetic generate fluctuations in the magnetic field.’
      • ‘Should the deformation lead to the decrease in the coil's inductance, the energy of the magnetic field will increase.’
      • ‘It relied on the principle of electromagnetic induction, and consisted of an insulated coil of copper wire connected to a large electrical capacitance.’
      • ‘It works by moving a magnet through a coil of wire and produces a alternating current which must then be rectified by the use of diodes.’
      • ‘The three-channel CPU voltage regulator uses original inductance coils in a casing and capacitors from OST and Nippon Chemi-Con.’
      • ‘This voltage in the feedback coil conducts current to the transistor base, making the transistor conductive again, and the process repeats.’
      • ‘A second capacitor coil is inductively coupled to the control inductor, and is to be connected to the capacitor to provide a second resonant sub-circuit to control resonant gain.’
      • ‘A high-density coil transforms the magnetic charge generated by the rotor into electrical energy that powers the watch.’
      • ‘Thus, the induced voltage in the coil generated by any outer magnetic field is controlled to reduce noise.’
      • ‘These currents are induced by the rapidly changing magnetic field generated by a coil supplied with an alternating current.’
      • ‘The sample magnetization can be measured through the induction of a voltage signal in a coil surrounding the sample after its manipulation by an appropriate combination of radio-frequency pulses.’
      • ‘In particular the area where the power supply components are located looks different: the number and location of capacitors, coils and the transistors around the CPU socket has been changed.’
      • ‘If you vary the size of the two inductors - the number of loops in each coil - you can boost voltage from the primary to the secondary.’
      • ‘Short bursts of electrical current are send through a coil of wire, causing a magnetic field.’
      • ‘Around the magnet is an electrical coil attached to the floating buoy.’
      • ‘He had learned that an inductance coil was a closed circuit with no current of its own.’
    6. 1.6 An electrical coil used for transmitting high voltage to the spark plugs of an internal combustion engine.
      • ‘Some vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing the coil whenever replacing ignition wires, to avoid the higher resistance in new wires from damaging the ignition module.’
      • ‘In the article it said the engine has eight coils and dual plugs.’
      • ‘After a quick and jovial discussion about the problem he checked the spark plugs and coil.’
      • ‘Dirty filters, coils, and fans reduce airflow through the system.’
      • ‘When Tri-Tech won a contract to manufacture encapsulated coils for valves on buses powered by natural gas, it knew the components would require superior protection against the elements.’
      • ‘Motor control of a variable reluctance motor is obtained by providing a periodic voltage waveform to a coil of a motor.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Arrange or wind (something long and flexible) in a joined sequence of concentric circles or rings.

    ‘he began to coil up the heavy ropes’
    ‘he coiled a lock of her hair around his finger’
    • ‘But what else can you expect from an industry that calls the guy who coils cables its ‘best boy.’’
    • ‘When Mr. Kanda brought a ‘reticulated python,’ the children vied with one another to coil the reptile around their necks.’
    • ‘As she coils her long, languid body around a chair, it's plain that the hype isn't misplaced - she has presence to spare.’
    • ‘‘It isn't,’ agreed Tony neatly coiling a guitar lead.’
    • ‘‘Hold on,’ she muttered, holding the panicked boy close to her chest and coiling her limbs and head around him.’
    • ‘The scientists stated that the method employed by the squid to snare its prey can be likened to a python striking a rat, with it using its tentacles to grab its lunch and then coiling them up into a ball.’
    • ‘The creature bellowed a seeming laugh at the pitiful maneuver, gnashing its wicked teeth and bullying its fiery body in such a way as to corner Galafar from getting away, coiling its body all around him.’
    • ‘I cautioned calmly as I unstrung my bow, coiling the string.’
    • ‘Absently coiling a blonde curl around her fingers she re-examined the office she was gradually growing familiar with.’
    • ‘At breakfast a fat python likes to coil itself around the branches of one of the trees in the canopy just in front of the restaurant.’
    • ‘Unclip remaining hair, and coil into a bigger bun at base of neck.’
    • ‘It seemed satisfied, at least for the moment, so I coiled the hose, shut up the garage, and went back indoors.’
    • ‘Girls would not be allowed to coil up their hair with hairpins unless they were married, if she did so her husband and parents-in-law would look down upon her because she hadn't followed the rules for women's behavior.’
    • ‘Two such methods include coiling the body around the eggs (pricklebacks and gunnels) and covering the eggs with algae (temperate sculpins and wrasses).’
    • ‘Her curly blond hair was coiled at the back of her head, held by hot pink metal pins.’
    • ‘The joints had to be as strong and flexible as the pipes themselves, and able to stand the stress of being coiled with the pipes onto large drums.’
    • ‘I started coiling the silver phone cord around the fingers of my right hand, and concentrated on doing that while I spoke.’
    • ‘‘No, I taught them a long time ago,’ Andrea replied, coiling the bullwhip that she still held.’
    • ‘The way in which the cell packages this genetic material is by tightly coiling it up and bundling it around proteins to form a structure called the chromosome.’
    • ‘Keep cords on appliances short by coiling them.’
    wind, loop, twist, curl, curve, bend, twine, entwine, snake
    spiral, corkscrew, wreathe, meander
    convolute
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object] Move or twist into a coil.
      ‘smoke coiled lazily toward the ceiling’
      • ‘Fear was coiling in her stomach and her chest twisted in agony.’
      • ‘The glands are initially straight but begin to coil toward the end of this phase.’
      • ‘There was also this big rat snake in the barn - I couldn't smell it, but a lot of times I'd be working in the loft, all of a sudden I'd discover that big king snake, coiling up, getting ready to strike.’
      • ‘Lia continued to twist the fork, watching as the spaghetti coiled then dropped back into the plate.’
      • ‘They light the joss sticks from the yellow candles' strong steady flames and place the incense in the sand, the thin white smoke coiling up to the heavens.’
      • ‘Inside the implant a bundle of wires has been inserted: each wire is a different length, so that as the bundle coils around the spiral in the cochlear's bony shell separate electrodes reach a certain distance only.’
      • ‘Smoke like incense coiled from the corner of the room from the dried bunches of herbs he had found in Mary's cold store.’
      • ‘Swaisgood's research project required that the snake comfortably slither, coil, and strike but still be tethered tightly enough that there was no chance it could escape.’
      • ‘It laughs at such restraints as paving; new plants coil like a spring until they break the mortar between the bricks.’
      • ‘He leaned back in his leatherback chair, and puffed out his Cuban cigar, sending the smoke coiling up to the ceiling.’
      • ‘Leave the stem on until it has coiled (this will be towards the end of the growing time), then cut it back close to the base of the plant.’
      • ‘Storage of DNA is related to its ability to twist and coil into a compact form.’
      • ‘Start your visit with a morning cruise up the graded gravel of Spiral Drive, which coils around Tenderfoot Mountain all the way to its 7,560-foot summit.’
      • ‘I had never seen the rancher, who lived in the thrown-together compound of unmatched buildings down by the river, only a thin wraith of smoke coiling out of his chimney.’
      • ‘On the prow of the Kebako Puka a snake coils around a mountain, symbolizing the tidal wave that destroyed the Lamalerans' ancestral home.’
      • ‘The flower stalks do coil suggestively like serpents.’
      • ‘Then black smoke and heat coiled around him in a thick, suffocating cloud until he choked and woke to the world.’
      • ‘Their sloping slate roofs peeked over Victorian chimneys almost smothered in the plumes of grey smoke which coiled ever upwards into the sky.’
      • ‘With each passing second his insides twisted and coiled like a snake.’

Origin

Early 16th century (as a verb): from Old French coillir, from Latin colligere gather together (see collect).

Pronunciation

coil

/koil/

Main definitions of coil in English

: coil1coil2

coil2

noun

archaic, dialect
  • A confusion or turmoil.

    • ‘But the biggest loser from our decision to cling gamely to the mortal coil is the National Health Service.’
    • ‘All of us who shuffled off the coil of tertiary study and into the colder harder reality of working for the system that educated us know the feeling.’
    • ‘This is part of the Great Chain of Being and will continue long after we have shuffled off this coil.’
    • ‘From A Basement On The Hill - Elliott Smith The troubled artist left this coil in 2004, and the album he left behind is wonderful and heartbreaking all at once.’
    • ‘For three-quarters of a century, Social Security has guaranteed us all a life of modest dignity as we live out the end of this mortal coil.’
    • ‘And secondly, because your mortal coil is so much more fragile at that age, if your chances of dying in the next five years are halved at aged 80, then it really means something.’

Phrases

  • shuffle off this mortal coil

    • Die.

      • ‘Never mind that the late, lamented actor shuffled off this mortal coil back in 1998.’
      • ‘In a spectacular finale to a week of already nightmarish aspect, my last remaining grandparent has just decided to shuffle off this mortal coil.’
      • ‘Now, some of this might be because the poor lass has shuffled off this mortal coil, but none of these guys tends to throw around superlatives for people who don't deserve it.’
      • ‘When my time comes to finally shuffle off this mortal coil, I sincerely hope that I'm not made to suffer those last few moments during which my life flashes before my eyes.’
      • ‘He's finally shuffled off this mortal coil, and his passing is mourned by all.’
      • ‘From that moment of impact I would start to think frequently of my lucky escape but also of the thought that one day I would shuffle off this mortal coil like everyone else.’
      • ‘At the ripe old age of 78 and after creating an Irish institution now famous the world over, Arthur Guinness shuffled off this mortal coil.’
      • ‘Years later, it still has an irresistible draw, and I believe that if my passion for it ever began to wane it would be a sign that I was almost ready to shuffle off this mortal coil.’
      • ‘Someone wrote me that he's 105 years old and ought to be shuffling off this mortal coil.’
      • ‘She should not have been allowed to shuffle off this mortal coil in pain, discomfort, humiliation and a fog of drugs.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

coil

/koil/