\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 Denqul is a sleek tube with an extendable arm that pops out in an L-shape and spins around. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Nendo designs an attractive hand-crank phone charger," 12 Nov. 2018 Built-in shelving holds the Play Plates collection, whose images become animated when the dishes are spun. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "A Milan Ceramicist Brings Her Family’s Artisanal Aesthetic to Life at Home," 4 Oct. 2018 The problems listed above are just ammunition for that battle, spun by each side in different ways to create a favorable narrative in public opinion and the courts. German Lopez, Vox, "The Florida voter fraud allegations, explained," 12 Nov. 2018 An excellent selection of jazz, soul, and classic rock vinyl spins on the record player. Bon Appetit, "Abraço," 25 June 2018 The Earth’s axis — think of it as an invisible pole that the Earth spins on — is tilted rather than perfectly upright. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Summer Solstice 2018: What You Need to Know About the Longest Day of the Year," 21 June 2018 For those keeping score — and that would certainly include Canadian dairy farmers — that’s roughly a 5:1 trade imbalance in favor of the U.S. The escalating statistical war may have consumers’ heads spinning fast enough to churn butter. Geoffrey Mohan, latimes.com, "Behind Trump's dairy rant, a cheesed-off Wisconsin and Canada's sacred cows," 12 June 2018 Guests can pose for Instagram-worthy shots and are also welcome to dance along to tunes spun by celebrity deejays Zen Freeman, Devin Lucien and Caroline D’Amore. Melody Chiu, PEOPLE.com, "Parents' Day Out! Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross to Celebrate National Rosé Day in Malibu," 8 June 2018 Uranium hexafluoride gas is spun by centrifuges to make enriched uranium that can be used in nuclear weapons and atomic reactor fuel. Washington Post, "Iran opens new nuclear facility for centrifuge production," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This special spin-off combines the spirit of the holidays with beloved contestants from seasons past. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "The Best Holiday Specials to Watch (and Stream) Now," 7 Dec. 2018 However, some of those classic Kavinsky moments were actually unscripted, including that classic spin move with Lara Jean. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Here Are All the "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" Details You Missed the First Time Around," 29 Aug. 2018 The forward executed a classy spin move to create his chance when a miscued shot by Marcos Rojo arrived at his feet near the penalty spot. Graham Dunbar, chicagotribune.com, "Messi misses penalty as Iceland hold Argentina to draw," 16 June 2018 Elise Alders, a junior, used a nice spin move to put the Huskies back ahead. Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "Patterson Mill girls reach state lacrosse final with 17-4 win," 20 May 2018 That first-possession spin move Wagner threw at Villanova’s Omari Spellman — eye-opening. Mike Jensen, Philly.com, "Michigan star Moritz Wagner silenced by Villanova defense in NCAA championship game | Mike Jensen," 2 Apr. 2018 With video snippets of the Seminoles’ practices hitting social media, Matthews can be seen jab stepping and putting wicked spin moves on his teammates during punt return drills while a mob of teammates wait to celebrate with him in the end zone. Safid Deen, OrlandoSentinel.com, "D.J. Matthews could be FSU's next electric playmaker on offense, special teams," 26 Mar. 2018 But when that first success is with something as culturally meaningful—and actually good—as Crazy Rich Asians, audiences are more than happy to eat up the spin-offs. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Crazy Rich Asians Author Kevin Kwan Is Moving to TV with The Emperor of Malibu," 26 Oct. 2018 Sister City, ManhattanThe spin-off from the Atelier Ace team is minimalism to the max. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hotel Report: Where Our Editors Are Staying Now," 17 Oct. 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

9 Dec 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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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

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