\ ˈspin How to pronounce spin (audio) \
spun\ ˈspən How to pronounce spun (audio) \; spinning

Definition of spin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to draw out and twist fiber into yarn or thread
2 : to form a thread by extruding a viscous rapidly hardening fluid used especially of a spider or insect
3a : to revolve rapidly : gyrate
b : to feel as if in a whirl : reel my head is spinning
4 : to move swiftly especially on or as if on wheels or in a vehicle
5 : to fish with spinning bait : troll
6a of an airplane : to fall in a spin
b : to plunge helplessly and out of control
7 : to engage in spin control (as in politics)

transitive verb

1a : to draw out and twist into yarns or threads
b : to produce by drawing out and twisting a fibrous material
2 : to form (something, such as a web or cocoon) by spinning
3a : to stretch out or extend (something, such as a story) lengthily : protract usually used with out
b : to evolve, express, or fabricate by processes of mind or imagination spin a yarn
4 : to cause to whirl : impart spin to spin a top
5 : to shape into threadlike form in manufacture also : to manufacture by a whirling process
6 : to set (records or compact discs) rotating on a player : play spin some discs
7 : to present (information) with a particular spin spin the statistics
spin one's wheels
: to make futile efforts to achieve progress



Definition of spin (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of spinning or twirling something also : an instance of spinning or of spinning something doing axels and spins an assortment of spins and lobs
b : the whirling motion imparted (as to a ball or top) by spinning
c : an excursion or ride in a vehicle especially on wheels go for a spin
2a : an aerial maneuver or flight condition consisting of a combination of roll and yaw with the longitudinal axis of the airplane inclined steeply downward
b : a plunging descent or downward spiral
c : a state of mental confusion all in a spin
3a : a quantum characteristic of an elementary particle that is visualized as the rotation of the particle on its axis and that is responsible for measurable angular momentum and magnetic moment
b : the angular momentum associated with such rotation whose magnitude is quantized and which may assume either of two possible directions also : the angular momentum of a system of such particles derived from the spins and orbital motions of the particles
4a : a usually ingenious twist puts an Asian spin on the pasta dishes
b(1) : a special point of view, emphasis, or interpretation presented for the purpose of influencing opinion put the most favorable spin on the findings
(2) : spin control

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Other Words from spin


spinless \ ˈspin-​ləs How to pronounce spinless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of spin in a Sentence


The car hit a patch of ice and spun into the wall. The children were spinning a top. I tried to stand up but the room was spinning. She spun the silk into thread. They spun the wool into yarn.


the direction of the Earth's spin The ice-skater executed graceful jumps and spins. A baseball thrown with spin is harder to hit. She put spin on the ball. The bowler put a sideways spin on the ball. Each author puts a new spin on the story. They claim to report the news with no spin. He took me for a spin in his new car. Would you like to go for a spin?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Without a kill switch, anyone thrown overboard could be struck by the still-running boat or its still-spinning and potentially deadly propeller. Shannon Tompkins, ExpressNews.com, "Texas hunters, anglers in for big rule changes," 16 Aug. 2019 In addition to Masters of Flight, Lego Movie World will include Unikitty’s Disco Drop, which launches kids to the top of Cloud Cuckoo Land and then drops, spins and bounces them back down the tower. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lego Movie World will be Legoland’s biggest attraction ever," 15 Aug. 2019 Evans spun and ended up coming to a stop in the infield off of Turn 4. Antioch Speedway, The Mercury News, "Oreta a double winner at Antioch Speedway," 14 Aug. 2019 Bates can hit pull-up threes from NBA range off a half-stop, spins into jumpers and floaters with an innate sense of balance, and uses angles to finish creatively around the rim. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "High School Basketball Phenom Emoni Bates Already Has the NBA Buzzing," 12 Aug. 2019 Inside on the dance floor, DJ Love Deluxe will spin a mix of house, hip hop, and R&B. Under the stars in the Garden Lounge, guests can enjoy the hip-hop, soul, and electronic music of RyNea Soul. Shauna Stuart | Sstuart@al.com, al, "Here are six things to see at the August edition of the BMA’s Art on the Rocks," 9 Aug. 2019 The Wilder in downtown Fort Lauderdale continues its monthlong Records & Rosé Brunch series at the hospitable hour of 2 p.m. on Sunday, with DJ EchoSlim spinning vinyl, and bottomless rosé packages (Fleurs de Prairie is a sponsor) and brunch bites. Ben Crandell, sun-sentinel.com, "Weekend preview: Women and beers and TVs we love, plus a Bon Jovi dance party?," 7 Aug. 2019 Within and around them spun two expressive dancers, Reynaldo Gonzalez-Fernandez and Guerreiro, acting as something of a silent Greek chorus. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: A powerful Passion closes Minnesota Orchestra’s Latin Sommerfest," 3 Aug. 2019 In an instant the boat spun sideways, knocking Aaron off his feet and onto the floor of the boat. Ngm Maps, National Geographic, "‘This photograph was the hardest I’ve ever had to make’," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of course, Kylie topped the outfit with a contemporary spin: Gucci futuristic specs that were outlined in pearls. Teen Vogue, "From Kylie Jenner to Rowan Blanchard, Milkmaid Fashion Is the New Trend We Can't Get Enough Of," 16 Aug. 2019 Giving the supermodel aesthetic a grungier spin, Hadid styled her distressed denim with a pale green T-shirt by Tejesta. Vogue, "Gigi Hadid’s Jeans Are a Supermodel Staple," 14 Aug. 2019 Damien Moore caught the ball, ran up the field and contorted his body with a 360-degree spin that left a defender grasping for air. Los Angeles Times, "Cal-bound Damien Moore ready to be an instant difference-maker for Bishop Amat," 13 Aug. 2019 There, Puryear explores Jefferson’s architectural theory, giving his love of domes a new, unusual, and provocative spin. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The American Pavilion in the Venice Biennale: Safe and Sorry," 10 Aug. 2019 Sanders smoothly spun, reached back to make a one-handed catch with his right hand mid-spin and then showed some of his explosiveness while taking off down the sideline. Matt Zenitz | Mzenitz@al.com, al, "Alabama’s new 5-star running back doing ‘really, really well’," 8 Aug. 2019 As the Earth spins, the magnetic field roughly aligns with the axis of rotation, creating the magnetic north and south poles. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Earth’s Magnetic Field Could Take Longer to Flip Than Previously Thought," 8 Aug. 2019 Highs spin clockwise, ushering in southwesterly flow on their departing side. Matthew Cappucci, Anchorage Daily News, "An atmospheric river is drenching parts of Alaska after a stretch of scorching weather," 6 Aug. 2019 In fact, the fourth-round pick’s array of soaring boots often include spin and can tail away from the team’s punt returners. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ rookie punter has been so good that even shanks are working out for him," 2 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spin


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spin


Middle English spinnen, from Old English spinnan; akin to Old High German spinnan to spin and perhaps to Lithuanian spęsti to set (a trap)

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Statistics for spin

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spin

The first known use of spin was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for spin



English Language Learners Definition of spin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to turn or cause someone or something to turn around repeatedly
: to seem to be moving around in a way that makes you feel dizzy or sick
: to draw out and twist fibers of cotton, wool, silk, etc., into yarn or thread



English Language Learners Definition of spin (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of turning around and around : an act of spinning
: a rapid turning motion given to a ball by someone who throws or hits it
: a certain way of describing or talking about something that is meant to influence other people's opinion of it


\ ˈspin How to pronounce spin (audio) \
spun\ ˈspən \; spinning

Kids Definition of spin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to turn or cause to turn round and round rapidly : twirl He fell after spinning in circles.
2 : to make yarn or thread from (fibers) He spun the silk into thread.
3 : to make (yarn or thread) from fibers She was spinning yarn from wool.
4 : to form threads or a web or cocoon by giving off a sticky fluid that quickly hardens A spider was spinning its web.
5 : to feel as if in a whirl My head was spinning. The room was spinning.
6 : to make up and tell using the imagination I listened to him spin a tale.
7 : to move swiftly on wheels or in a vehicle The car spun away.
8 : to make, shape, or produce by or as if by whirling The woman spun sugar as a demonstration.

Other Words from spin

spinner \ ˈspi-​nər \ noun



Kids Definition of spin (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a rapid motion of turning around and around
2 : a short trip in or on a wheeled vehicle


\ ˈspin How to pronounce spin (audio) \

Medical Definition of spin

1 : a quantum characteristic of an elementary particle that is visualized as the rotation of the particle on its axis and that is responsible for measurable angular momentum and magnetic moment
2 : the angular momentum which is associated with spin, whose magnitude is quantized, and which may assume either of two possible directions also : the angular momentum of a system of elementary particles derived from their spins and orbital motions — see spin echo, spin label

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More from Merriam-Webster on spin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spin

Spanish Central: Translation of spin

Nglish: Translation of spin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spin

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