\ ˈspin How to pronounce spin (audio) \
spun\ ˈspən How to pronounce spin (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
(2) : spin control

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Other Words from spin


spinless \ ˈspin-​ləs How to pronounce spin (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 If the bill seems different from the way it has been described in the media, that’s because the critics are misrepresenting it to spin up outrage and fundraise off of their base. Brad Raffensperger, National Review, "Setting the Record Straight on Georgia’s New Voter-Access Law," 6 Apr. 2021 Announced on March 2, the service will let customers quickly spin up nodes that contain the transaction history of the entire blockchain, and connect to the main Ethereum network. Nina Bambysheva, Forbes, "Why Amazon’s Ethereum Support Funnels Through Northern Virginia," 3 Mar. 2021 One was a drinking-cup-and-straw combo with three animals on its top that would spin as a child sipped—the Merry-Go-Sip. Ian Crouch, The New Yorker, "Inside the Workshop of a Classic-Toy Inventor, in “Eddy’s World”," 14 Dec. 2020 The strands can withstand some forces better than similar fibers ejected by spiders that spin traditional 2-D webs—a serious accomplishment, seeing as the latter silks were already considered nearly as durable as high-tech materials. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "Itsy-Bitsy 3-D Spider Web Is as Strong as Human-Made Materials," 11 Dec. 2020 The interior lining is meant to protect from moisture and its wheels can spin 360 degrees. Ambar Pardilla, NBC News, "The best carry-on luggage of 2021: Amazon, Away, ROAM and more," 19 Mar. 2021 Hard stops heading east might spin the earth a little faster and thereby shorten your track day. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "2021 BMW M3 Looks Forward by Looking Back," 9 Mar. 2021 After being dropped to the surface, the helicopter will furiously spin its rotors to ascend 3 meters in the air for 20 seconds. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "After dramatic landing, Mars rover will probe ancient lake for clues to planet’s wet past," 23 Feb. 2021 Heiskanen tracked back into his zone to meet Sebastian Aho, who tried to spin a pass to Tervainen. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars notebook: Rick Bowness unhappy with penalty kill mistakes; Miro Heiskanen’s ‘sick play’ gets Dallas to OT," 13 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kids looked forward to Bernie Brewer taking his new slide for a spin and spooning ice cream in plastic baseball cap bowls. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Nothing like being at the ballpark': Fans returning to stadium experience simple joys of Brewers opening day," 1 Apr. 2021 Peloton is taking Swizz Beatz and Timbaland's massively popular Verzuz series for a spin. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Peloton Partners with 'Verzuz' to Adapt Battle Series for At-Home Exercise Classes," 29 Mar. 2021 Powell built his first prototype in 2017 and took it out for a spin around his neighborhood. Jenny Rudolph, Dallas News, "A vacation abroad gives a Denton entrepreneur an idea he’s now pitching on Shark Tank," 25 Mar. 2021 The model and new mom has recently made a few subtle changes, including taking curtain bangs for a spin in December, but her latest look is her most transformative yet. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "Gigi Hadid Went “Ginger Red” — & She Looks Good," 8 Mar. 2021 While this is the first time Perseverance has gone out for a spin, it's still had a busy two weeks on Mars. Paul Best, Fox News, "NASA celebrates Mars rover Perseverance's first steps, other milestones," 6 Mar. 2021 Apart from the good cheer and company, long lunches are also opportunities for taking the season’s statement bag out for a spin. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, "The Ultimate Guide To Sustainable Dressing For Spring 2021: Key Pieces, Trends, And Brands To Know," 4 Mar. 2021 Similar to the heels waiting patiently and collecting dust in the back of your closet, these feather light mesh pieces deserve to be taken for a spin this spring. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Clingy, Stretchy, Meshy—This Spring Is All About Second Skin Dressing," 24 Feb. 2021 Everyone else recognizes him as Jimmy McGill, a.k.a. Saul Goodman, a.k.a. one of the reasons that Better Call Saul has become the rare spin-off within spitting distance of besting its mothershow. David Fear, Rolling Stone, "‘Nobody’: Bob Odenkirk, Badass Action Hero?," 25 Mar. 2021

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spin. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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