I searched the meaning of reel in a couple of dictionaries and got the meaning as

to walk, moving from side to side, looking like one is going to fall.

but still I am not able to understand it. What does it mean? Can I have an example in favor of that word?

closed as general reference by JSBձոգչ, aedia λ, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, JeffSahol May 14 '12 at 19:22

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Psalm 127:27

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man.

The definitions you found describe how someone who is drunk might walk: not in a straight line, and in danger of falling over.


To reel in terms of walking is not commonly used (Andrew Leach's example is a good one though). What you would more often see: 'He reeled backwards from the punch' or 'The news sent him reeling' -- meaning that he appeared unsteady, as though he was about to fall over.


A reel is a type of dance. In the Highland Reel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_highland_dance), the dancers weave side to side and around each other in a way that the definition you provide suggests. Perhaps it comes from the dance, then?

  • I should add that it is danced very quickly, giving the impression of instability. – JAM May 14 '12 at 18:48
  • Or the dance from the word? – Kris May 14 '12 at 18:48

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.