\ˈspin \
spun\ˈspən \; 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 \ 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

The Jyn Erso team is already spinning up another project, called Jyn 2, focusing on new ways for cyber soldiers to hunt down adversaries on DOD networks. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "The Pentagon Is Building a Dream Team of Tech-Savvy Soldiers," 2 July 2018 Grocery bags are filling with fruits and vegetables, and Hernandez’s blender is spinning non-stop. Carlos Frías, miamiherald, "This Miami food truck is a grocery store on wheels — where convenience comes to you," 2 July 2018 Make sure to pad your journeys with plenty of extra time: There's no point in rushing when Mercury is spinning reverse. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What July's Sagittarius Horoscope Means for You," 29 June 2018 Meanwhile, Schauer had made it to the front of the line and was spinning the wheel. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest revelers react to new U.S. Cellular stage, northern gate, Klement's Beer Garden," 27 June 2018 Beside him a record is spinning on a turntable, miraculously unaffected by the shifting water below it. Sam Whiting, SFChronicle.com, "Will Rogan gives the mast from his houseboat to his art," 27 June 2018 But one person wasn't thrilled with the bill the president's supporters were spinning as an administration achievement: the president himself. NBC News, "Forget a GOP civil war — the biggest fight plaguing Hill Republicans may be Trump vs. Trump," 18 June 2018 Check out the early club raise when the ball was still spinning back. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Watch: Tiger Woods Holes Out for Eagle at the Memorial," 1 June 2018 The challenge of amending the NCAA’s transfer rules is enough to leave anybody’s head spinning. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "ACC coaches, administrators searching for a good answer to transfer reform," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The original Michelangelo fresco from the 1500's can be seen on the dome at the Sistene Chapel, but Grande puts a new spin on the iconic image, cropping herself in as God. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Ariana Grande's Epic 'God Is a Woman' Video, Decoded," 13 July 2018 Naturally, the rapper had to put his own spin on the trend his song inspired, attempting his own dance moves onstage. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Drake's 'In My Feelings' dance craze inspires celebs to try it themselves," 12 July 2018 Now a group of trans actors are putting a spin on the news by trying out for some of her most famous roles. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Trans Actors Shade Scarlett Johansson Amid Backlash Over Her Decision to Play a Trans Man," 11 July 2018 But the Cambridge family clearly likes to put their own spin on tradition as well. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Prince George and Prince William Matched at Their Baby Brothers' Christenings—34 Years Apart," 9 July 2018 One way to put a cheeky spin on the outfit is to match your bucket hat to your bikini, as in a full leopard-print getup courtesy of Ganni. Alexandra Gurvitch, Vogue, "Why Bucket Hats and Bikinis Are Summer’s Best Combination," 6 July 2018 The idea of putting a narrow spin on the rules has consumer groups in an uproar. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Could a tsunami of robocalls be heading to our cell phones?," 5 July 2018 But a screw-up that caused the landmark film to enter the public domain has provided some room for other authors to put their own spin on the undead hungering for human flesh. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "AMC's 'Fear the Walking Dead' Is Target of Copyright Lawsuit," 27 June 2018 Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto tried to put a positive spin on the news, noting there are 142 cities in the state that have a Moody's rating. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "City of Brookfield approves conference center financing, but loses sterling bond rating in the process," 20 June 2018

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

14 Oct 2018

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 \
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 \

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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Comments on spin

What made you want to look up spin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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