Descent by distaff


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

  • descent — Synonyms and related words: Brownian movement, Indian file, abasement, advance, affiliation, altitude peak, angular motion, apparentation, array, articulation, ascending, ascent, automatic control, axial motion, backflowing, backing, backset,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • distaff side — Synonyms and related words: affiliation, agnate, ancestry, apparentation, birth, blood, blood relation, blood relative, bloodline, branch, breed, clansman, cognate, collateral, collateral relative, common ancestry, connections, consanguinean,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • 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

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


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