coil(redirected from coils)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
coil around (someone or something)
To twist around someone or something. A reflexive pronoun can be used between "coil" and "around." The explorer froze when he felt the snake coil itself around his leg. That vine is now coiling around the tree—is there any way I can move it?
To curl oneself or something into a small, compact position. A noun or pronoun can be used between "coil" and "up." The snake coiled itself up and began hissing at us. Coil up that hose when you're done with it.
coil up into (something)
To curl oneself or something into a certain shape. A noun or pronoun can be used between "coil" and "up." Unfortunately, the yarn in this basket is all coiled up into a ball—it'll take some time to untangle it.
coil (itself) around someone or something
[for something or an animal] to wrap itself around someone or something. The monkey's tail coiled itself around the branch. The huge python coiled around poor Roger.
coil (itself) up
[for something] to wrap or roll itself into a coil. The snake coiled itself up, trying to hide. It coiled up, ready to strike.
coil (itself) up into something
[for something] to wrap or twist itself into a particular shape. The frightened snaked coiled itself up into a knot. The spring coiled up into its original shape.
coil something up
to roll or twist something into a coil. Maria coiled the strip of stamps up and put them in the little dispenser. Please coil up the rope.
shuffle off this mortal coil
Euph. to die. (Often jocular or formal euphemism. Not often used in consoling someone.) Cousin Fred shuffled off this mortal coil after suffering a heart attack. When I shuffle off this mortal coil, I want to go out in style—bells, flowers, and a long, boring funeral.
1. Get rid of, act evasively, as in They've tried to shuffle off public inquiries about the safety of their planes. This usage, dating from about 1600, also appears in the oft-quoted shuffle off this mortal coil, from Shakespeare's Hamlet (3:1), where it means "become freed from the turmoil of life," that is, "die."
2. Move away reluctantly, dragging one's feet, as in The prisoners shuffled off to their work detail. [Late 1500s]
1. To go with short sliding steps, without or barely lifting the feet: The sleepy children shuffled off to bed.
2. To leave; depart: Toward the end of the evening, the guests shuffled off one by one.
3. To rid oneself of something; dispose of or relocate something: I have not been able to shuffle off my embarrassment. The computer program automatically shuffles the outdated files off to another disk.
4. To evade or shirk something, such as a responsibility: He shuffled off his responsibilities and went to the beach. She shuffled her work off onto others because she wasn't feeling well.
shuffle off this mortal coil
Die. This phrase that appears in Hamlet combines the archaic meaning of two words. “Shuffle” meant “rid,” while “coil” meant “troubles.” As Shakespeare put it, “What dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil / Must give us pause.”