Old English wund "hurt, injury, ulcer," from Proto-Germanic *wuntho (source also of Old Saxon wunda, Old Norse und, Old Frisian wunde, Old High German wunta, German wunde "wound"), perhaps from PIE root *wen- (2) "to beat, wound."
c. 1400, from Old French ulcere, from Vulgar Latin *ulcerem, from Latin ulcus (genitive ulceris) "ulcer, a sore," figuratively "painful subject," from PIE *elk-es- "wound" (source also of Greek elkos "a wound, sore, ulcer," Sanskrit Related: arsah "hemorrhoids").
1620s, "length of rope or cable," a specialized nautical sense from coil (v.). General sense "ring or series of rings in which a pliant body is wound" is from 1660s; hence, such a form forced onto a non-pliant body (1826). Specific sense "electrical conductor wound in a coil" is from 1849. Related: Coils.