skein

[skeyn]
noun
1.
a length of yarn or thread wound on a reel or swift preparatory for use in manufacturing.
2.
anything wound in or resembling such a coil: a skein of hair.
3.
something suggestive of the twistings of a skein: an incoherent skein of words.
4.
a flock of geese, ducks, or the like, in flight.
5.
a succession or series of similar or interrelated things: a skein of tennis victories.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English skeyne, skayne < Middle French escaigne < ?

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World English Dictionary
skein (skeɪn)
 
n
1.  a length of yarn, etc, wound in a long coil
2.  something resembling this, such as a lock of hair
3.  Compare gaggle a flock of geese flying
 
[C15: from Old French escaigne, of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

skein
c.1440, from M.Fr. escaigne "a hank of yarn," from O.Fr. escagne (1354), of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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