\ 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 Lipa and a massive crew of backup dancers make their way through an elaborate, warehouse-sized set filled with cars, larger-than-life diamond sculptures, and spinning floor plates rendered in different colors. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Dua Lipa Does a Deceptively Simple Look 8 Ways in Her New “Physical” Video," 31 Jan. 2020 But Rumpelstiltskin, the magical imp who spun straw into gold, would be impressed with the latest chemical wizardry. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Electricity turns garbage into graphene," 27 Jan. 2020 He was also seen spinning tires and fishtailing into an oncoming lane of travel. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Teen indicted in crash that killed Rod and Paula Bramblett," 23 Jan. 2020 That set him spinning even more than one of Dubstep Boy's superpower sonic blasts could have. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Teen comic book artist from Goshen gains national attention with 'Adventures of Fro-Man'," 23 Jan. 2020 With 4½ minutes left, Antetokounmpo got the ball on the block, dribbled and spun into the lane for a lefty hook shot. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 111, Bulls 98: Cleaning up their act in the second half," 20 Jan. 2020 Along the way during Cheat Week, a general manager and three managers lost their jobs, players sniped at one another on Twitter and the baseball world spun into full-blown conspiracy theory mode. Dallas News, "‘It’s been a pretty crazy week’: MLB needs to fix the latest bugs in the system. Here are some common-sense suggestions.," 17 Jan. 2020 The woman crashed into the rear wheels of the truck, which spin the trailer-less cab nearly 180 degrees, video shows. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Video: 120 mph police chase ends in violent crash in northeast Houston," 16 Jan. 2020 The light in the corner shifted weirdly, warped, spun into curlicues and spirals that should only have existed in Escher drawings. David Canfield, EW.com, "Jim Butcher offers a sneak peek of upcoming novel Peace Talks," 16 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Doubly, thank Clarkson for reviving the instant classic on her show, with her own Texas spin. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Kelly Clarkson Performing ‘A Little Bit Alexis’ With Annie Murphy Is Pure Gold," 30 Jan. 2020 From the start, Alex had a clear vision for how to put his spin on the Carolyn reference. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "The Bride Wore Alexander Wang—and 5 Other Looks—at This “Island Formal” Wedding at The Rockhouse in Jamaica," 24 Jan. 2020 WireImage—2016 John Shearer Who is hosting? Alicia Keys is returning as host following her spin in the spotlight last year. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Grammys," 20 Jan. 2020 His curveball spin was elite in 2019 — averaging 2,999 revolutions per minute. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Rays trade Austin Pruitt to his hometown Astros for 2 minor leaguers," 9 Jan. 2020 Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung; everyone brought their spin on the decade’s big new breakthrough. Brian Barrett, Wired, "3D TV Tells You Everything About This Decade’s Tech," 31 Dec. 2019 While there are suggested yarns for each project, readers are free to choose their own and put their creative spin on each project. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "The Official Harry Potter Knitting Guide Is Here, With Tons of Projects From the Movies," 16 Dec. 2019 Even at this legendary spot, the bartenders can’t resist putting their own spins on the storied cocktail. Susanne Fowler, chicagotribune.com, "Bar hopping on Oahu in search of a tropical treasure: the best mai tai," 9 Dec. 2019 To add sound and touch, scientists put their own spin on a technique first reported this year by Marzo and his colleagues. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "See the new Star Wars-like display that could ‘revolutionize’ virtual reality," 13 Nov. 2019

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

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=s&file=spin0001. Accessed 18 Feb. 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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