\ 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

Cross-programming with Thalia Hall piano bar Tack Room includes a DJ set by Waxahatchee front woman Katie Crutchfield, who'll spin records she's bought from 606 at Tack Room beginning at 3:30 PM. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Music / Do This Record Store Day 2018: here's what shops are doing to celebrate in the Chicago area," 17 Apr. 2018 At the same time, small satellite programs, such as constellations, are spinning up all over the world. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Entering a crowded market, Japan’s new rocket scores an early win," 21 Dec. 2018 Your head will be spinning from all the gossip, so be sure to carve out time to process all the stimuli. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Virgo Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 Other campers take the concept even further, spinning to reveal a two-bedroom tiny house; expanding to three times their size; or inflating by itself in seconds. Megan Barber, Curbed, "This $67K camper is also a boat," 5 Sep. 2018 In a super sweet video, Barack can be seen holding hands with his wife, spinning her around, comparing her to Beyoncé, and generally looking adoringly at her, as the crowd cheers. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Barack Obama Surprised Michelle Obama on Her Book Tour & Compared Her to Beyoncé," 18 Nov. 2018 This makes sense because the 80-kWh battery pack sends power to the electrified axle, essentially making the camper spin its own wheels and cutting down the tow load on your vehicle. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Finally, a camper that could be towed by an electric car," 29 Aug. 2018 Random cheers became an enveloping roar as four crosses appeared projected on a see-through scrim above the stage, spinning 180 degrees slowly until inverted. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "More an event than an everyday concert, Slayer’s Final Tour roars through Charlotte," 18 June 2018 There’s always the hope that reasoned people will listen to both sides of an argument' - Judge Judy Ford has agreed to testify, as has Kavanaugh, and Judge Judy seems to think that’s the best thing for the wheels of justice to keep spinning. Fox News, "Judge Judy on Brett Kavanaugh confirmation: 'They're supposed to listen to evidence'," 24 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Host Jake DuPree chats with AJ Michalka, star of the new show Schooled, a spin-off of The Goldbergs, and former member of the musical duo Aly & AJ. Erika Trombley, Seventeen, "AJ Michalka from "Schooled" Talks All Things Prom on Seventeen's Talk Show "IRL Today"," 4 Mar. 2019 In 2017, Pullman released the first installment in a spin-off trilogy, called The Book of Dust. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The His Dark Materials Books Are Being Adapted into a TV Show. Here's Everything We Know.," 28 Feb. 2019 Actually, just about anyone would want to give that a spin. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Want to drive a Maserati? This Louisville company can hook you up," 8 June 2018 Youtuber Technmoan got his hands on one and gave it a spin. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Strange Machine That Played Paper Instead of Records or Tapes," 12 Apr. 2018 And just last week, the brand released another new style, the ultra-comfy Fusion Flexweave ($120), with fellow ambassador Ariana Grande giving them a spin in the campaign. Colleen Kratofil, PEOPLE.com, "Chloë Grace Moretz's Jimmy Choo Photoshoot, Gigi Hadid's New Reebok Ads, Plus More Style News," 5 Apr. 2018 The inn can arrange cycling, hiking and kayaking, and there is a 7,000-square-foot gym with dedicated spin and yoga rooms. Ted Loos, WSJ, "The New Inn From the Founder of 1stdibs Is Peak Hudson Valley-Chic," 1 Nov. 2018 After an embarrassing no-show season during what would have been its 40th anniversary in 2017, the East Troy amphitheater reopened Friday with Grateful Dead spin-off Dead & Company kicking off a two-night stint. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Reopened Alpine Valley Music Theatre splendid sight for splendid sounds of Dead & Company," 23 June 2018 Hays struggled with spin away in his major league stint last year, and teams are pitching him that way this season, but those aren't pitches that can be pulled. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Out with ankle injury, top Orioles prospect Austin Hays waiting for return to form after slow start," 19 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

18 Mar 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

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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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