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1

spiral

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adjective spi·ral \ˈspī-rəl\

Simple Definition of spiral

  • : winding or circling around a central point and usually getting closer to or farther away from it : shaped or moving like a spiral

Full Definition of spiral

  1. 1a :  winding around a center or pole and gradually receding from or approaching it <the spiral curve of a watch spring>b :  helicalc :  spiral-bound <a spiral notebook>

  2. 2 :  of or relating to the advancement to higher levels through a series of cyclical movements

spi·ral·ly play \-rə-lē\ adverb

Examples of spiral

  1. <a spiral staircase takes visitors up into the Statue of Liberty>



Origin of spiral

Medieval Latin spiralis, from Latin spira coil — more at spire


First Known Use: 1551

Rhymes with spiral


2

spiral

noun spi·ral

Simple Definition of spiral

  • : a circular curving line that goes around a central point while getting closer to or farther away from it

  • : a situation in which something continuously increases, decreases, or gets worse

  • American football : a kick or throw in which the ball spins while moving through the air

Full Definition of spiral

  1. 1a :  the path of a point in a plane moving around a central point while continuously receding from or approaching itb :  a three-dimensional curve (as a helix) with one or more turns about an axis

  2. 2 :  a single turn or coil in a spiral object

  3. 3 :  something having a spiral form as:a :  spiral galaxyb (1) :  a spiral flight (2) :  a kick or pass in which a football rotates on its long axis while moving through the air

  4. 4 :  a continuously spreading and accelerating increase or decrease <wage spirals>

Examples of spiral

  1. The glider flew in a wide spiral over the field.

  2. The quarterback threw a tight spiral to the receiver.



1656

First Known Use of spiral

1656


3

spiral

verb spi·ral

Simple Definition of spiral

  • : to move in a circle around a central point while getting closer to or farther away from it : to move in a spiral

  • : to greatly increase, decrease, or get worse in a continuous and usually fast and uncontrolled way

Full Definition of spiral

spiraled or spiralledspiral·ing or spiral·ling

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to go and especially to rise or fall in a spiral course <costs spiraled upward>

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to form into a spiral

  5. 2 :  to cause to spiral

Examples of spiral

  1. Smoke spiraled up from the chimney.

  2. The airplane spiraled to the ground and crashed.

  3. The unemployment rate has been spiraling upward.

  4. The stock market is spiraling downward.

  5. Let's deal with this crisis before it spirals out of control.



1834

First Known Use of spiral

1834




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