1. A quantity of yarn, thread, or the like, put up together, after it is taken from the reel, usually tied in a sort of knot.
A skein of cotton yarn is formed by eighty turns of the thread round a fifty-four inch reel.
2. A metallic strengthening band or thimble on the wooden arm of an axle.
Origin: OE. Skeyne, OF. Escaigne, F. Ecagne, probably of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. Sgainne, Gael. Sgeinnidh thread, small twine; or perhaps the English word is immediately from Celtic.
(Science: zoology) A flight of wild fowl (wild geese or the like).