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a. A staff that holds on its cleft end the unspun flax, wool, or tow from which thread is drawn in spinning by hand.
b. An attachment for a spinning wheel that serves this purpose.
2. Work and concerns traditionally considered important to women.
3. Women considered as a group.
1. Of or relating to women and girls; female.
2. Relating to or being the female line or maternal branch of a family.
[Middle English distaf, from Old English distæf : dis-, bunch of flax; akin to Middle Dutch disen, to prepare a distaff with flax; see dizen + stæf, staff.]
1. (Textiles) the rod on which flax is wound preparatory to spinning
2. (modifier) of or concerning women: offensive to distaff members of the audience.
[Old English distæf, from dis- bunch of flax + stæf staff1; see dizen]
dis•taff(ˈdɪs tæf, -tɑf)
1. a long staff for holding wool, flax, etc., from which the thread is drawn in spinning by hand.
a. women collectively.
b. women's work or concerns.
4. of or pertaining to women, women's work, or the female line of descent.
[before 1000; Middle English distaf, Old English distæf=dis- (akin to Middle Low German dis(en)e bunch of flax]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||distaff - the sphere of work by women|
|2.||distaff - the staff on which wool or flax is wound before spinning|
spinning wheel - a small domestic spinning machine with a single spindle that is driven by hand or foot
staff - a strong rod or stick with a specialized utilitarian purpose; "he walked with the help of a wooden staff"
|Adj.||1.||distaff - characteristic of or peculiar to a woman; "female sensitiveness"; "female suffrage"|
feminine - associated with women and not with men; "feminine intuition"