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

Other Words from spin


spinless \ ˈspin-​ləs How to pronounce spin (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? See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Irving is a wizard at misdirections and spin moves to get to the rim. New York Times, 9 May 2022 There’s a great deal of hype and spin about how crypto assets work. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Machines that spin blood samples line the counter and a stationary bike stands at center. Los Angeles Times, 24 Apr. 2022 Some of the women spin cotton; the spiritual leaders, mostly men, sit under starry skies to chew coca leaves in silent communion. Carolina Schneider Comandulli, Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2022 The pranksters’ goal was to provoke their targets into saying something that Russian media could then spin using the Kremlin’s characterization of post-2014 Ukraine as an inept, fascist and morally corrupt Western puppet. Stanislav Budnitsky, The Conversation, 19 Apr. 2022 Children will leap, prance and spin their way through the world of Angela DiTerlizzi’s Some Bugs. Hartford Courant, 13 Apr. 2022 These days her feet are grounded, but Dockendorf’s head remains a whirlwind of tumbling combinations and spin moves in her position as Utah’s assistant gymnastics coach. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 A half-dozen or so approach shots would barely get to the front of the green, then spin back to the fairway, Woods punctuating one of those bad breaks by shouting a profanity that an on-course microphone caught. Tim Reynolds, ajc, 8 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun United States of Al had been on the bubble since its debut among other heavy hitters in the CBS sitcom lineup, including the Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon and Ghosts. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 12 May 2022 More recently, the Italian EV battery company Italvolt announced plans for a spin-off company to work with CTR. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 11 May 2022 Jason Oppenheim, who will star in the new show along with Sunset, shared the spin-off announcement on Instagram last October. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 May 2022 Check out these best road trip stops in every state for some fun places to take a spin. Erin Cavoto, Country Living, 4 May 2022 In addition to pulling off some impressive choreography, the pair pose inside a saloon and take a spin in a car to complete the cowboy fantasy. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 29 Apr. 2022 Then, the fellas take one spin on Tankathon and complete their first mock draft for the lottery teams. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, 26 Apr. 2022 Coupled with a slightly different color scheme over the original, this makes for an interesting spin-off design, of which the Nu Gundam already has multiple. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 So until then, take a spin through the Met Gala interiors throughout the years, from 2005's Chanel-themed soiree to the most recent affair in 2021. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near spin



spina bifida

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Statistics for spin

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spin


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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