any cylindrical piece or device on which something is wound.
a small cylindrical piece of wood or other material on which yarn is wound in spinning, for use in weaving; a bobbin.
a small cylinder of wood or other material on which thread, wire, or tape is wound, typically expanded or with a rim at each end and having a hole lengthwise through the center.
the material or quantity of material wound on such a device.
Angling. the cylindrical drum in a reel that bears the line.
verb (used with object)
to wind on a spool.
to unwind from a spool (usually followed by off or out ).
Computers. to operate (an input/output device) by using buffers in main and secondary storage.
verb (used without object)
to wind.
to unwind.

1275–1325; Middle English spole < Middle Dutch spoele or Middle Low German spōle; cognate with German Spule

spooler, noun
spoollike, adjective
unspool, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
spool (spuːl)
1.  a device around which magnetic tape, film, cotton, etc, can be automatically wound, with plates at top and bottom to prevent it from slipping off
2.  anything round which other materials, esp thread, are wound
3.  (sometimes foll by up) to wind or be wound onto a spool or reel
[C14: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German spuolo, Middle Dutch spoele]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.N.Fr. spole, espole "a spool" (13c.), from M.Du. spoele "a spool," from P.Gmc. *spolon (cf. Norw., Swed. spole, O.H.G. spuola, Ger. Spule), from PIE base *spel- "to cleave, split" (see spoil). The verb is recorded from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
spool   (spl)  Pronunciation Key 
To store data that is sent to a device, such as a printer, in a buffer that the device reads. This procedure allows the program that sent the data to the device to resume its normal operation without waiting for the device to process the data.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

SPOOL definition

operating system
Acronym for Simultaneous Peripheral Operation On-Line; but see also spool.
[Jargon File]

Spool definition

An object-oriented logic programming language.
["An Experience with a Prolog Based Language", K. Fukunaga et al, SIGPLAN Notices 21(11):224-231 (Nov 1986) (OOPSLA '86)].
[Jargon File]

spool definition

operating system
To send files to some device or program (a "spooler" or demon) that puts them in a queue for later processing of some kind. Without qualification, the spooler is the "print spooler" controlling output of jobs to a printer; but the term has been used in connection with other peripherals (especially plotters and graphics devices) and occasionally even for input devices.
The term "SPOOL" has been attributed to IBM as an acronym for Simultaneous Peripheral Operation On-Line but it's widely thought to have been contrived for effect.
[No connection with "spool of magnetic tape"?]
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
simultaneous peripheral operation online
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Machines cut nails and formed the tip and head in one step from a long spool of
  steel wire.
Demonstrate the idea with a ball of yarn or spool of thread.
Its amazing what you can get for the price of a spool of copper.
The spool will roll toward you if you keep the twine parallel to the table as
  you pull.
Images for spool
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