browse words by letter
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
distaff

more about distaff

distaff


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Distaff  \Dis"taff\,  n.;  pl  {Distaffs},  rarely  {Distaves}.  [OE. 
  distaf,  dysestafe  AS  distaef;  cf  LG  diesse  the  bunch  of 
  flax  on  a  distaff,  and  E.  dizen.  See  {Staff}.] 
  1.  The  staff  for  holding  a  bunch  of  flax,  tow,  or  wool,  from 
  which  the  thread  is  drawn  in  spinning  by  hand. 
 
  I  will  the  distaff  hold  come  thou  and  spin. 
  --Fairfax. 
 
  2.  Used  as  a  symbol  of  the  holder  of  a  distaff;  hence  a 
  woman;  women,  collectively. 
 
  His  crown  usurped,  a  distaff  on  the  throne. 
  --Dryden. 
 
  Some  say  the  crozier,  some  say  the  distaff  was  too 
  busy.  --Howell. 
 
  Note:  The  plural  is  regular,  but  Distaves  occurs  in  Beaumont 
  &  Fletcher. 
 
  {Descent  by  distaff},  descent  on  the  mother's  side 
 
  {Distaff  Day},  or  {Distaff's  Day},  the  morrow  of  the 
  Epiphany,  that  is  January  7,  because  working  at  the 
  distaff  was  then  resumed,  after  the  Christmas  festival;  -- 
  called  also  {Rock  Day},  a  distaff  being  called  a  rock. 
  --Shipley. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  distaff 
  adj  :  characteristic  of  or  peculiar  to  a  woman;  "female 
  sensitiveness";  "female  suffrage"  [syn:  {female}] 
  n  1:  the  sphere  of  work  by  women 
  2:  the  staff  on  which  wool  or  flax  is  wound  before  spinning 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Distaff 
  (Heb.  pelek,  a  "circle"),  the  instrument  used  for  twisting 
  threads  by  a  whirl  (Prov.  31:19). 
 




more about distaff