n. & v.
n. 1 a a pin in a spinning-wheel used for twisting and winding the thread. b a small bar with tapered ends used for the same purpose in hand-spinning. c a pin bearing the bobbin of a spinning-machine. 2 a pin or axis that revolves or on which something revolves. 3 a turned piece of wood used as a banister, chair leg, etc. 4 Biol. a spindle-shaped mass of microtubules formed when a cell divides. 5 a varying measure of length for yarn. 6 a slender person or thing.
v.intr. have, or grow into, a long slender form. spindle berry the fruit of the spindle tree. spindle-shanked having long thin legs. spindle-shanks a person with such legs. spindle-shaped having a circular cross-section and tapering towards each end. spindle side = distaff side. spindle tree any shrub or small tree of the genus Euonymus, esp. E. europaeus with greenish-white flowers, pink or red berries, and hard wood used for spindles.
[ OE spinel (as SPIN) ]