reel

1 [reel]
noun
1.
a cylinder, frame, or other device that turns on an axis and is used to wind up or pay out something.
2.
a rotatory device attached to a fishing rod at the butt, for winding up or letting out the line.
3.
Photography.
a.
a spool on which film, especially motion-picture film, is wound.
b.
a roll of motion-picture film.
c.
a holder for roll film in a developing tank.
4.
a quantity of something wound on a reel.
5.
Chiefly British. a spool of sewing thread; a roller or bobbin of sewing thread.
verb (used with object)
6.
to wind on a reel, as thread, yarn, etc.
7.
to unwind (silk filaments) from a cocoon.
8.
to pull or draw by winding a line on a reel: to reel a fish in.
Verb phrases
9.
reel off, to say, write, or produce quickly and easily: The old sailor reeled off one story after another.
Idioms
10.
off the reel,
a.
without pause; continuously.
b.
without delay or hesitation; immediately.
Also, right off the reel.

Origin:
before 1050; (noun) Middle English rele, Old English hrēol; cognate with Old Norse hræll weaver's rod; (v.) Middle English relen, derivative of rele

reelable, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

reel

2 [reel]
verb (used without object)
1.
to sway or rock under a blow, shock, etc.: The boxer reeled and fell.
2.
to waver or fall back: The troops reeled and then ran.
3.
to sway about in standing or walking, as from dizziness, intoxication, etc.; stagger.
4.
to turn round and round; whirl.
5.
to have a sensation of whirling: His brain reeled.
verb (used with object)
6.
to cause to reel.
noun
7.
an act of reeling; a reeling or staggering movement.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English relen, apparently derivative of rele reel1


3. See stagger.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To reeling
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World English Dictionary
reel1 (riːl, rɪəl)
 
n
1.  US equivalent: spool any of various cylindrical objects or frames that turn on an axis and onto which film, magnetic tape, paper tape, wire, thread, etc, may be wound
2.  angling a device for winding, casting, etc, consisting of a revolving spool with a handle, attached to a fishing rod
3.  a roll of celluloid exhibiting a sequence of photographs to be projected
 
vb (foll by in, out etc)
4.  to wind (cotton, thread, etc) onto a reel
5.  to wind or draw with a reel: to reel in a fish
 
[Old English hrēol; related to Old Norse hrǣll weaver's rod, Greek krekein to weave]
 
'reelable1
 
adj
 
'reeler1
 
n

reel2 (riːl, rɪəl)
 
vb
1.  to sway, esp under the shock of a blow or through dizziness or drunkenness
2.  to whirl about or have the feeling of whirling about: his brain reeled
 
n
3.  a staggering or swaying motion or sensation
 
[C14 relen, probably from reel1]

reel3 (riːl, rɪəl)
 
n
1.  any of various lively Scottish dances, such as the eightsome reel and foursome reel for a fixed number of couples who combine in square and circular formations
2.  a piece of music having eight quavers to the bar composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
 
[C18: from reel²]

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

reel
"frame turning on an axis," late O.E. hreol "reel for winding thread," from P.Gmc. *khrekhulaz; probably related to hrægel "garment," and O.N. hræll "spindle." Specifically of the fishing rod attachment from 1726; of a film projector apparatus from 1896. The verb meaning "to wind on a reel"
is recorded from 1393, from the noun. To reel off "rattle off without pause or effort" is from 1837. Reel-to-reel type of tape deck is attested from 1961.

reel
"lively Highland dance," 1585, probably a special use of the verb sense of reel (n.1). Applied to the music for such a dance from 1591.

reel
"to whirl around," c.1300, probably from reel (n.1), on notion of "spinning." Of the mind, from 1796.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Holding a boot on someone's neck is much different than reeling in bad
  corporate actors.
Whatever the precise number, many factories are reeling.
When you've spent the weekend splurging on greasy fast foods, your bathroom
  scale isn't alone in reeling from the impact.
My own department is still reeling from losses that haven't been replaced.
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