REEL (O.E. hrtol, glossed by the Med. Lat. alibrum in Aelfric's Glossary, c. 1050; the word is of unknown origin; it does not appear in cognate languages, and Celtic forms such as Gaelic ruidhil are from English), a cylinder or apparatus of cylindrical shape on which a thread or line can be wound; e.g. the small wooden cylinder with projecting rims at either end on which sewing cotton or silk is wound for immediate use, the revolving " click-reel " attached to a fishing-rod, and the open revolving framework on which thread is wound as it is spun. The name of the Scottish dance (Gaelic rigliil, ruilhil) is probably the same word (see DANCE). In architecture, an ornamental moulding consisting of spherical-shaped bodies alternating with flat reel-shaped disks placed on edge is known as a "bead and reel" moulding.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)