\ 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

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Other Words from spin


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

Examples of spin in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 Corning Glass Works bought me in 1982, only to spin me off in 1997 with a new name. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Amazon has proven during the pandemic that it can still grow," 11 Oct. 2020 Delta makes landfall Friday evening as Category 2 storm: Louisiana hit again That would spin the calendar into mid-to-late October. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "As Delta departs, historic and furious hurricane season could soon follow," 11 Oct. 2020 In other words, the Braves were not likely to become the second team, after the 1905 New York Giants, to spin four shutouts in its first five games of a postseason. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Braves Buck Their Narrative and Break Through to the N.L.C.S.," 9 Oct. 2020 The Weather Channel reported that Delta is believed to be the fastest storm to spin up from a tropical depression into a Category 4 hurricane. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Climate Change May Cause More Storms to Rapidly Intensify, As Delta Did," 9 Oct. 2020 Disinformation attacks begin with a kernel of truth (a company donated to a particular candidate) but spin that information to come to a false conclusion (the donation was payback for a political favor). Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, "Brands Face a New Online Threat: Disinformation Attacks," 8 Oct. 2020 The closer an ice skater pulls their arms into their body, the faster the skater is able to spin. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Hurricane Delta bears striking resemblance to Wilma, the Atlantic's most intense hurricane on record," 8 Oct. 2020 That topic hasn’t been fruitful for the GOP, with Biden and Harris perfectly ready to defend and spin their records on crime. David Weigel, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: What to expect in the Pence-Harris debate based on their past performances," 7 Oct. 2020 The hospital brought in a live DJ to spin hits on the sidewalk at 7 a.m., as the staff filed in. Washington Post, "Inside a Florida hospital, coronavirus cases wane as strained staff brace for a fall surge," 7 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Palm Springs is the latest film to put an original spin on the idea of a character reliving the same day over and over again. WIRED, "‘Palm Springs’ Is ‘Groundhog Day’ With a Twist," 9 Oct. 2020 Today's White House spin masters have an advantage that Wilson's lacked. Ron Grossman, Star Tribune, "Presidential incapacity has been concealed before.," 9 Oct. 2020 All of Sunny Health’s spin bikes give you great bang for your buck, and the most basic models are much less than a Peloton. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Electronics and exercise gear that make excellent gifts," 8 Oct. 2020 But drama ensues after Ted's spin lands on David, and the pair share a slightly longer moment than either of their partners are particularly comfortable with. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Daniel Levy Slams Comedy Central India for Removing a Gay Kiss From Schitt’s Creek," 7 Oct. 2020 Emily In Paris has its share: In one scene, Emily walks by a spin studio and notices some women enjoying a post-workout cigarette. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Lucas Bravo, Emily In Paris‘s Heartthrob Chef, Is Enchanté To Meet You," 5 Oct. 2020 The rise in use of breaking pitches and cutters—especially the increase in use and spin of sliders and cutters—created an extremely difficult hitting environment. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: 10 things from Cincinnati Bengals win over the Jacksonville Jaguars," 5 Oct. 2020 Interdisciplinary artist Blake Weld set up a collection of dryers in which tennis balls rumble around on a spin cycle. Lauren Smart, Dallas News, "On a different level: Downtown Dallas parking garage hosts Aurora’s cool and trippy art show," 2 Oct. 2020 Her progress paid off on all surfaces but most dramatically on clay with her new emphasis on point construction and creating more spin and margin for error. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "For Serena Williams, the French Open Has Always Been Her Defining Challenge," 30 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for spin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spin

Last Updated

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for spin


How to pronounce spin (audio)

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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