1. A length of thread or yarn wound in a loose long coil.
2. Something suggesting the coil of a skein; a complex tangle: a twisted skein of lies.
2. A flock of geese or similar birds in flight.
[Origin: Middle English skeine, from Old French escaigne, “a hank of yarn.”]
He knew men, and he knew that to gain his end he must smite straight with this tigerish barbarian, who, like a wolf scenting a snare, would scent out unerringly any falseness in the skein of his word-web.
[from “The Shadow Kingdom”]