Descent by distaff
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. [1913 Webster]

I will the distaff hold; come thou and spin. --Fairfax. [1913 Webster]

2. Used as a symbol of the holder of a distaff; hence, a woman; women, collectively. [1913 Webster]

His crown usurped, a distaff on the throne. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Some say the crozier, some say the distaff was too busy. --Howell. [1913 Webster]

Note: The plural is regular, but Distaves occurs in Beaumont & Fletcher. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Distaff Day — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Distaff's Day — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distaff — dis•taff [[t]ˈdɪs tæf, tɑf[/t]] n. 1) tex a long staff for holding wool, flax, etc., from which the thread is drawn in spinning by hand 2) sex archaic a) women collectively b) women s work or concerns 3) distaff side 4) sex of or pertaining to… …   From formal English to slang

  • Distaffs — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Distaves — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rock Day — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Descendants of Henry IV of France — King Henry IV of France Henry IV of France was the first Bourbon king of France. Formerly known as Henri of Navarre, he succeeded to the French throne with the extinction of House of Valois, at the death of Henry III of France. In 1584, Prince… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry IV of France — Infobox French Royalty|monarch name=Henry IV title=King of France and Navarre caption= succession=King of France reign=2 August 1589 ndash; 14 May 1610 coronation=27 February 1594 predecessor=Henry III successor=Louis XIII succession1=King of… …   Wikipedia

  • Emperor of Ethiopia — ንጉሠ ነገሥት ዘኢትዮጵያ Nəgusä Nägäst Emperor of Ethiopia Former Monarchy Imperial …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”