1. One of the large feathers of a bird's wing, or one of the rectrices of the tail; also, the stock of such a feather.
2. A pen for writing made by sharpening and splitting the point or nib of the stock of a feather; as, history is the proper subject of his quill.
3. Zool. (a) A spine of the hedgehog or porcupine. (b) The pen of a squid. See Pen.
4. Mus. (a) The plectrum with which musicians strike the strings of certain instruments. (b) The tube of a musical instrument.
He touched the tender stops of various quills. --Milton.
5. Something having the form of a quill; as: (a) The fold or plain of a ruff. (b) Weaving A spindle, or spool, as of reed or wood, upon which the thread for the woof is wound in a shuttle. (c) Mach. A hollow spindle.
6. Pharm. A roll of dried bark; as, a quill of cinnamon or of cinchona.
Quill bit, a bit for boring resembling the half of a reed split lengthways and having its end sharpened like a gouge.
Quill driver, one who works with a pen; a writer; a clerk. [Jocose]
Quill nib, a small quill pen made to be used with a holder.
Quill, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Quilled p. pr. & vb. n. Quilling.]
1. To plaint in small cylindrical ridges, called quillings; as, to quill a ruffle.
His cravat seemed quilled into a ruff. --Goldsmith.
2. To wind on a quill, as thread or yarn.
n 1: pen made from a bird's feather [syn: quill pen]
2: a stiff hollow protective spine on a porcupine or hedgehog
3: any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird [syn: flight
feather, pinion, quill feather]
4: the hollow shaft of a feather [syn: calamus, shaft]