Definition of unreel in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Unwind (something wrapped around another object)

    ‘she unreeled the plug from her headset’
    • ‘By continuing to unreel the A&R winch cable, the tilting frame is able to rotate and thereby lift the intermediate connector off the wheel.’
    • ‘Ropes must be unreeled correctly to avoid causing kinks in the rope.’
    • ‘When ready to surface, the diver can continue to unreel the line until he reaches the surface, where he cuts the line.’
    • ‘The tensioners are then opened and the A&R winch cable is unreeled to allow the intermediate connector to pass through the tensioners.’
    • ‘Indiscriminate fishing practices such as long lining (ships unreel as much as 75 miles of line bristling with hundreds of thousands of baited hooks) and purse seining are stripping the oceans clean of sea life.’
    • ‘Next, Adam unreeled the garden hose and dragged it into the kitchen.’
    • ‘He drew back the corner of the curtains and saw the fire engines, blue lights flashing and men in yellow helmets unreeling hoses through the darkness as smoke poured into the sky by the building site.’
    • ‘Afterward, I pulled apart the Mobile Broadcast Booth, unreeled the extension cord that I'd snaked through various car and home windows, and settled into the sofa to cool down.’
    • ‘While the two firemen unreeled the pumper's hose, Eminger, wearing a thick coat and asbestos gloves, rushed to the hall outside Room 180, where several night managers and employees had gathered.’
    • ‘Wherever Reznick appears, things seem a bit off-kilter, and the sideways tilt becomes more pronounced as the movie unreels.’
    • ‘He nodded, beginning to unreel more string, ‘Want a chance?’’
    unroll, uncoil, undo, unravel, untwine, untwist, disentangle, spread out, unfurl, open, open out, lay out, straighten, straighten out, unkink
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of a film) wind from one reel to another during projection.
      ‘the film sequence unreeled meaninglessly in front of her’