Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[purn, pirn] /pɜrn, pɪrn/
noun, British Dialect
a weaver's bobbin, spool, or reel.
a fishing reel.
Origin of pirn
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English pyrne < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pirn
Historical Examples
  • Na, he juist said he'd forgotten a pirn, or his cruizey lamp, or ony thing.

    A Window in Thrums J. M. Barrie
  • The first thing he saw was a half-finished reel of cotton—a pirn, he called it.

    Robert Falconer George MacDonald
  • "Ay, mony a pirn has 'Lisbeth filled to me," said Hendry, settling down to a reminiscence.

    A Window in Thrums J. M. Barrie
  • Fathom after fathom goes reeling from your pirn, but still you are barely able to drop the far fly into the distant curl.

  • So she spun at her yarn, and found more yarn on the “pirn” than she thought to find; which frightened her.

    Witch Stories E. Lynn (Elizabeth Lynn) Linton
British Dictionary definitions for pirn


/pɜːn; Scottish pɪrn/
noun (Scot)
a reel or bobbin
(in weaving) the spool of a shuttle
a fishing reel
Word Origin
C15: of uncertain 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pirn

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pirn

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pirn