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Definition of "distaff" [dis•taff]

  • A staff that holds on its cleft end the unspun flax, wool, or tow from which thread is drawn in spinning by hand. (noun)
  • An attachment for a spinning wheel that serves this purpose. (noun)
  • Work and concerns traditionally considered important to women. (noun)
  • Women considered as a group. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "distaff" in a sentence
  • "Snyder said that although she wasn't familiar with the word distaff, the name Ladies 'Classic made her think it was a race with all-female jockeys."
  • "A distaff is a rod on which wool is wound before being spun into thread."
  • "The distaff was a larger, stouter stick, around one end of which the material to be spun was wound in a loose ball."