\ 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

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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?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Because of how tenuous the Martian atmosphere is, Ingenuity has to be light, with rotor blades that are larger and spin faster than a comparable helicopter on Earth. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, "Humans Can’t Fly A Helicopter On Mars, And That’s Why Ingenuity Is So Amazing," 28 Apr. 2021 There are no fancy new condo buildings, wine bars, or spin studios on this stretch of Dot Ave. BostonGlobe.com, "As development comes to Fields Corner, a melting pot starts to boil," 28 Apr. 2021 All blenders get their puree-ing power from blades, which spin via an electric motor to whir foods and liquids into a vortex. Marygrace Taylor, SELF, "What’s Really the Difference Between an Expensive Blender and a Cheaper One?," 21 Apr. 2021 Blake's big brother, 5-year-old Brantlee, giggles whenever the toys spin over the wires. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "Helping people is 'what engineering is.' Milford students make toys for child with cerebral palsy," 19 Apr. 2021 To compensate, engineers equipped Ingenuity with rotor blades that are larger (4-feet-long) and spin more rapidly than would be needed on Earth for an aircraft of its size. NBC News, "NASA launches tiny Mars chopper 'Ingenuity' on a historic flight," 19 Apr. 2021 Climb, hover, descent, landing, touchdown and spin down. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "Video of NASA’s Mars Helicopter in Flight," 19 Apr. 2021 Other reports suggest that the explosion was actually rather large, destroying the power source for the centrifuges, machines which spin uranium to extract fissile isotopes suitable for use in reactors or, if concentrated enough, in bombs. The Economist, "Not your average blackout Israel apparently strikes an Iranian nuclear facility—again," 12 Apr. 2021 In the coming weeks a higher sun angle will heat the lower atmosphere ,allowing thundery thermals of rising air to accelerate and spin. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Weather Models: A Few Slushy Encounters," 11 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The daytime power couple is preparing to return to their soap opera roots, serving as executive producers for Pine Valley, an ABC spin-off of All My Children. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, "Kelly Ripa Receives the 'Best Gift Ever' from Mark Consuelos to Celebrate Their 25th Anniversary," 1 May 2021 For one, the timey-wimey Arrowverse spin-off already has five seasons under its belt with a sixth one premiering this Sunday, which is a lot of television to get through. Chancellor Agard, EW.com, "Legends of Tomorrow cast picks the must-watch episodes for a quick binge," 1 May 2021 That includes everything from a new Star Wars spin-off, Zack Snyder’s return to the land of the undead, and a couple of series making belated returns. Keith Phipps, Rolling Stone, "What to Watch in May: ‘Pose’ Final Season, New ‘Star Wars’ Series and Emma Stone as ‘Cruella’," 30 Apr. 2021 On a side note, Duchess of Calabasas would be a great name for a Keeping Up With the Kardashians spin-off, in case the sisters want back into the reality TV game at some point. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Kim Kardashian Almost ‘Fainted’ After Realizing This Link Between Herself and Bridgerton," 21 Apr. 2021 Since the spin-off of Cerence, Nuance has outperformed S&P 500 by 215% and has been a multi-bagger. Joe Cornell, Forbes, "Microsoft Announces Acquisition Of Nuance; Targets Completion In 2021," 20 Apr. 2021 Time to rewatch Diana’s scenes with Enzo and hope for another spin-off in the Darren Star Extended Universe. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Can You Even Call It The Final Season Of Younger Without Diana Trout?," 19 Apr. 2021 How did the idea for an All Stars spin-off come to you? Kyndall Cunningham, Vulture, "The Challenge OG Mark Long on Being an All Stars Player-Coach and Bringing Fun Back to the Franchise," 15 Apr. 2021 Zane Rowe, who has been serving as the company's interim CEO since then, will remain in that role following the spin-off. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Dell Technologies to spin off its ownership stake in VMWare," 14 Apr. 2021

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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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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