\ 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

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Other Words from spin


spinless \ ˈspin-​ləs How to pronounce spinless (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 The process of collecting the plasma involves withdrawing the person's blood, spinning it in a machine so the plasma separates from the cells, and returning the red and white blood cells and platelets to the donor. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "'I wasn't hesitant a bit to try it.' He's alive after plasma treatment for COVID-19," 14 May 2020 The news cycle spun with story after story highlighting the ever-increasing number of cases and deaths, while unemployment soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Jean Twenge, The Conversation, "New study shows staggering effect of coronavirus pandemic on America’s mental health," 7 May 2020 Some of those improvements included projects such as inflatable dams to store wastewater or partially treating overflows by spinning them in a centrifuge to separate solids. Sarah Bowman, IndyStar, "The White River: Cleanup follows decades of civil rights abuses. Now who will benefit?," 2 May 2020 Bamboo This fabric is spun from the pulp of bamboo plants, a fast-growing grass that requires no fertilizer or replanting. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Best Eco-Friendly Fabrics for a Fresh, Modern Space," 22 Apr. 2020 Don’t overload the machines: Give your garments the freedom to spin around the drum, and evenly distribute detergent and fabric conditioner. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Ultimate Checklist for How Often You Should Wash Clothes, Linens, and Everything Else," 7 Apr. 2020 An effect is created, simultaneously, of head-spinning multiplicity and bare-bones deprivation: a carnival with nothing to celebrate, a ghostliness without any actual ghosts. Geoffrey O’brien, The New York Review of Books, "Becoming the Nightmare," 27 Dec. 2019 These apps also have some live ride options but are more geared to cyclists rather than spinning enthusiasts. Talya Minsberg, New York Times, "Be Your Own Spin Class," 8 May 2020 But with the quarterback carousel spinning wildly Tuesday, Rivers found a place to settle down and continue to pursue that elusive Super Bowl ring. Michael Marot, Houston Chronicle, "Colts agree to 1-year deal with QB Philip Rivers," 17 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Detroit's futuristic spin on the late '80s and '90s color themes worked for a year or two. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "NBA jersey power rankings: Lakers reign supreme among league's best designs," 23 May 2020 Much of the world loves potatoes, so international spins on potato salad are plentiful. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Which potato salad will show up at your picnic? There's a world of variations," 22 May 2020 Much of this was known since AMD first unveiled its Ryzen 4000 series of CPUs earlier this year, but this budget gaming laptop got a good spin from Ben Funk of HotHardware.com. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "The Dell G5 15 SE features Ryzen, Radeon and Smart Shift's 'free performance'," 22 May 2020 Wochit This is the fifth edition of the Free Press’ weekly Tankathon series, where Free Press sports writer Omari Sankofa II projects the top 10 of the 2020 NBA draft based on one spin of the tankathon.com lottery simulator. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons get shot at NBA draft redemption with LaMelo Ball at No. 2: Tankathon 5.0," 22 May 2020 Juicy and sweet, every bunch resembled a slot machine’s jackpot spin. Vanessa Hua, SFChronicle.com, "As California enters reopening gray area, what will summer hold?," 21 May 2020 Khora will feature Ashworth’s Midwest spin on pasta favorites (and his own creations), taken to a new level with the organic ancient grains from Ohio’s Venture Heritage Farm. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "What's next? Louisville restaurants struggle with 'constant unknown' of COVID-19 pandemic," 19 May 2020 Ultimate Tag features five different courses, each with a different spin on the game and different skills required. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "The NFL's Watt brothers on why Ultimate Tag is more sport than game show," 19 May 2020 Disabling lift, sweep or wheel spin individually hindered the rover. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "'Mini Rover' can wiggle and crawl its way across tricky terrain on other planets," 13 May 2020

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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for spin


How to pronounce spin (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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