\ 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 Some of my fellow journalists were taking the instructors' advice to heart: their vehicles slid on the polished ice, spinning in circles, before finally colliding into a snowbank. Morgan Korn, ABC News, "What I learned about driving on ice near the Arctic Circle," 15 Feb. 2020 DJs Slim Pknz, Ricky Spanish, Lolo, Logan Boggs and more will be spinning their favorite love music inside the club. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "16 things to do in Cleveland on Saturday, Feb. 15," 15 Feb. 2020 For brief moments during the first of a two-day scheduled open test, cars slipped and spun around COTA in packs as large as five, but the 25 engines stationed in pit lane never hummed at their highest timbre. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Cold temperatures stall first day of IndyCar open test at Circuit of the Americas," 11 Feb. 2020 Studies with strong commercial backers, such as those supporting the value of an expensive pharmaceutical product, are not only published but are selectively spun in advertising. Robert M. Kaplan, STAT, "Open science, publishing, and public research support: Could Trump have it right?," 6 Feb. 2020 If the encounter fails to happen — particularly with Trump only an hour’s drive up Interstate 95 — the significance will certainly be seen, and spun, in different ways. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, "Venezuela's Guaidó hoped to meet with Trump. He's still waiting.," 31 Jan. 2020 Enrichment refers to the process of spinning uranium in centrifuges to obtain its most fissile isotope, U-235, which can be used in low concentrations in power plants and at high concentrations in a bomb. The Economist, "What is the JCPOA?," 28 Jan. 2020 There will be a lot less exploratory behavior if the ant raft is spinning in response to centrifugal or shear forces. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The physics behind how fire ants band together into robust floating “rafts”," 8 Dec. 2019 With his eyes firmly on the goal, the winger struck the ball with terrifying speed and defied physics by sending the ball swerving and spinning in the air. SI.com, "Ranking 15 of Man Utd's Greatest Premier League Goals After Scott McTominay Bags 2,000th Strike," 27 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From goat skin and fertility to 16th century greeting cards, here's a quick spin through several theories on the origins of the holiday dedicated to love, love, love. Francisco Guzman And Brian Ries, CNN, "Valentine's Day's dark and twisted origin story," 14 Feb. 2020 Katie Morton, Tayshia Adams, and Bibiana Julian have all been big hits in the franchise, and after appearing on multiple spin-off series, all three remain in the consciousness of Bachelor Nation. Lia Beck, refinery29.com, "Maybe Hannah Brown Should Just Be The Bachelorette Again," 11 Feb. 2020 The risk isn’t just that some prankster breaks into your smart washing machine and upsets the spin cycle, or that your Nest camera gets hijacked with a message to subscribe to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "The WIRED Guide to the Internet of Things," 10 Feb. 2020 But the assignment did ensure airtime from the frenzied spin zone in the Capitol basement during breaks in the trial. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "So many winners: Impeachment left bitterness but offered something for almost everyone as it turned out," 6 Feb. 2020 Plans are also to take Blake’s cider doughnuts to new levels with gourmet toppings and other new spins. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "You can get Blake's cider, doughnuts year-round at new Bakehouse46 shops," 4 Feb. 2020 Notorious spin-doctor Lord Timothy Bell and his now disgraced PR company Bell Pottinger are examined in this documentary by South African journalists Richard Poplak and Diana Neille. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Influence': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 4 Feb. 2020 Fans have already seen tons of familiar faces return for The Vampire Diaries' second spin-off series. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Michael Malarkey Says He’s Open to Coming Back to the "The Vampire Diaries" World as Enzo in "Legacies"," 3 Feb. 2020 The white dwarf's spin drags the very fabric of space-time around with it, causing the orbit to tumble in space. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Bizarre Cosmic Dance Offers Fresh Test for General Relativity," 30 Jan. 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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

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