\ 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 His backers have been eager to spin his absence as a consequence of technical difficulties imposed by the measures Biden is taking to stay quarantined. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Joe Biden Pivots to Video," 24 Mar. 2020 Although the wheel system was designed for the rover to withstand a 45-degree tilt, steep climbs can cause the wheels to spin in place, according to the agency. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Curiosity rover shares new selfie, climbs steep hill on Mars," 24 Mar. 2020 Good coaches know how to frame a loss into a future victory, but the great genius of Saban is his ability to spin everything forward into recruiting advantages. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Battle between Nick Saban, Kirby Smart heats up," 5 Mar. 2020 North Central guarded Harris tough on the final possession, forcing him to spin back to his left and take a long, contested shot. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 10 memorable moments from IHSAA basketball sectional week," 3 Mar. 2020 The collision caused Samra's car to spin multiple times before stopping on the side of the freeway. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Video shows violent crash after Los Angeles police pursuit; 3 teens ejected from car," 28 Feb. 2020 But, as the researchers report in The Astrophysical Journal, for their planet to get close enough, the surface of the black hole would have to spin at less than a 100-millionth of a percent shy of the speed of light. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Could a habitable planet orbit a black hole?," 4 Feb. 2020 But this scenario would require the white dwarf to be spinning very fast—remember the golf ball in honey— probably more than once per minute. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Bizarre Cosmic Dance Offers Fresh Test for General Relativity," 30 Jan. 2020 That’s the takeaway from Monday’s season-ending news conference with Quinn and Patricia, where each did their best to spin the franchise’s progress despite a miserable 3-12-1 season. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "For Detroit Lions GM Bob Quinn, the clock is officially ticking," 31 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The show was a hit and helped launch the careers of stars like Ariana Grande and Elizabeth Gillies, and resulted in the spin-off show Sam & Cat starring Ariana and iCarly's Jennette McCurdy. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice and the Rest of the "Victorious" Cast Celebrate the Show's 10th Anniversary," 27 Mar. 2020 And after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, host Julie Chen told contestants on a spin-off series, Big Brother Brother: Over The Top, of the results on Nov. 11 in a clip that went viral. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "Living In Coincidental Self-Quarantine, Some Big Brother Contestants Around the World Are Still to Learn About the Coronavirus Pandemic," 17 Mar. 2020 The chronically weak numbers at both brands coupled with hundreds of millions of dollars spent to spin off Old Navy rattled investors, who pressured the company to drop the spin-off plan. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Old Navy chief Sonia Syngal named CEO of all of Gap Inc.," 5 Mar. 2020 His 11th spin on the rotating stage was (another) study in subtle, steady showmanship. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Willie Nelson makes every RodeoHouston show feel like the first time," 5 Mar. 2020 That lead to spin-off stories outside of the sports sphere from outlets including The Hill and Yahoo Finance. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Alabama used an app to keep students at football games. How did it work?," 3 Mar. 2020 During the audience, Francis made a point to shake hands with the faithful in the front row, kissed a baby during his popemobile spin through St. Peter’s Square, and greeted visiting bishops at the end. BostonGlobe.com, "Pope cancels visit with Rome priests for ‘slight’ illness," 27 Feb. 2020 There's also been two spin-off series, one about the Rokesby family who are neighbors to the Bridgertons, and another about the Smythe-Smith quartet. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "Shonda Rhimes' Netflix Show, 'Bridgerton': Everything We Know," 24 Feb. 2020 Behar married the couple with her own comedic spin. Joanne Rosa, ABC News, "Joy Behar officiates Valentine's Day wedding live on 'The View'," 14 Feb. 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

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin. Accessed 9 Apr. 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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