A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[koil] /kɔɪl/
verb (used with object)
to wind into continuous, regularly spaced rings one above the other:
to coil a wire around a pencil.
to wind on a flat surface into rings one around the other:
He coiled the rope on the deck.
to gather (rope, wire, etc.) into loops:
She coiled the garden hose and hung it on the hook.
verb (used without object)
to form rings, spirals, etc.; gather or retract in a circular way:
The snake coiled, ready to strike.
to move in or follow a winding course:
The river coiled through the valley.
a connected series of spirals or rings into which a rope or the like is wound.
a single such ring.
an arrangement of pipes, coiled or in a series, as in a radiator.
a continuous pipe having inlet and outlet, or flow and return ends.
Medicine/Medical. an intrauterine device.
  1. a conductor, as a copper wire, wound up in a spiral or other form.
  2. a device composed essentially of such a conductor.
  3. ignition coil.
  1. a stamp issued in a roll, usually of 500 stamps, and usually perforated vertically or horizontally only.
  2. a roll of such stamps.
1605-15; perhaps variant of cull
Related forms
coilable, adjective
coilability, noun
uncoiled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coiled
  • One or two of the rattlers became vicious under the strain, and coiled and struck.
  • Standard condensers have a long length of tightly coiled tube on the inside, through which you pump coolant.
  • Ten hibernating garter snakes coiled beneath a rock, eyelids sealed, tongues stilled.
  • He had eaten nothing all day, but his stomach coiled at the thought of road food.
  • His necktie was drawn into a loose know, or hung free, with serpentine ends coiled away somewhere in his clothing.
  • And it can be dangerous, say, if an enemy strikes while the snake's coiled around its quarry.
  • Banana trees have these tightly coiled leaves coming up, and then the banana flowers lean down over that.
  • coiled cord keeps the phones on your head when you stray from the stereo.
  • The blade was then sandwiched by two heavy magnets at the bottom, and the wire was coiled around the blade, above the magnets.
  • They compare its effects to yanking repeatedly on a tightly coiled spring until it goes limp.
British Dictionary definitions for coiled


to wind or gather (ropes, hair, etc) into loops or (of rope, hair, etc) to be formed in such loops
(intransitive) to move in a winding course
something wound in a connected series of loops
a single loop of such a series
an arrangement of pipes in a spiral or loop, as in a condenser
an electrical conductor wound into the form of a spiral, sometimes with a soft iron core, to provide inductance or a magnetic field See also induction coil
an intrauterine contraceptive device in the shape of a coil
the transformer in a petrol engine that supplies the high voltage to the sparking plugs
Derived Forms
coiler, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French coillir to collect together; see cull


the troubles and activities of the world (in the Shakespearean phrase this mortal coil)
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coiled



"to wind," 1610s, from Middle French coillir "to gather, pick," from Latin colligere "to gather together" (see collect). Meaning specialized perhaps in nautical usage. Related: Coiled; coiling.


1620s, from coil (v.). Related: Coils.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for coiled


chemical oxygen-iodine laser
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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Encyclopedia Article for coiled


in an electric circuit, one or more turns, usually roughly circular or cylindrical, of current-carrying wire designed to produce a magnetic field or to provide electrical resistance or inductance; in the latter case, a coil is also called a choke coil (see also inductance). A soft iron core placed within a coil produces an electromagnet. A cylindrical coil that moves a plunger within it by variations in the current through the coil is known as a solenoid (q.v.).

Learn more about coil with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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