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 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:

  • distaffs — dis·taff || dɪstɑːf n. part of a spinning wheel that holds the wool, spindle …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Distaff — Queen Berthe instructing girls to spin flax on spindles using distaffs, Albert Anker, 1888 …   Wikipedia

  • Völva — A Völva (also Vala , Spákona ) is a priestess in Norse paganism, and a recurring motif in Norse mythology.Possiblyhuh related concepts are those of the Seiðkona , women practicing seiðr, i.e. sorceresses or witches.Names and etymologyThe Völvas… …   Wikipedia

  • Gorodets painting — (Городецкая роспись in Russian) is one of the folk arts and crafts of Russia, and a phenomenon of the so called naive art. Gorodets painting sprang from carved Gorodets distaffs that were manufactured in villages nearby Gorodets town in the… …   Wikipedia

  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

  • 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

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