a spiral staircase takes visitors up into the Statue of Liberty Noun
The glider flew in a wide spiral over the field.
The quarterback threw a tight spiral to the receiver. Verb
Smoke spiraled up from the chimney.
The airplane spiraled to the ground and crashed.
The unemployment rate has been spiraling upward.
The stock market is spiraling downward.
Let's deal with this crisis before it spirals out of control. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
These cause spiral lines to appear on the building, drawing the eye into a rhythm rather than straight up and down.—Pamela Chelin, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2023 The two potential polar ring galaxies—in which a ring of hydrogen gas orbits the main spiral disk at a 90-degree angle—are highly unusual objects.—Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Sep. 2023 Wandering Stars Pass Near Our Solar System Surprisingly Often
Triple Spiral Arms
To understand how these spiral streamers formed, the team turned to simulations on supercomputers ATERUI and ATERUI II programmed by Matsumoto.—Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 Dancers rotate and spiral, bend a knee, bring the foot across the leg, and land in a supported slanted plank.—Catherine Tharin, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2023 For my older son, typing out his writing assignments in the Notes app on our family iPad best allows the words to flow; for my younger, a sharpened pencil and a spiral notebook with thick lines for his oversize letters serve best.—Saul Austerlitz, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 And this book took me about four or five full spiral notebooks.—Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 2 Sep. 2023 Instead of defaulting to a pack of Bic pens and a spiral notebook, consider nabbing a Rocketbook.—Kevin Cortez, Popular Mechanics, 29 Aug. 2023 For our own Milky Way, astronomers estimate that this diffuse, dark cocoon — termed a halo — weighs roughly a trillion solar masses and is more than 10 times wider than the galaxy’s spiral disk of stars.—Joshua Sokol, Quanta Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023
During a second-quarter play last Saturday against San Diego State, Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei ran to his right, then suddenly pivoted, jumped and fired a spiral across the field to left tackle Joshua Gray.—oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2023 No need to boost volume for this curl type, as these spirals create fullness by bouncing off each other.—Sabina Wizemann, Good Housekeeping, 8 Sep. 2023 Thus begins the spiral of anger, confusion and sadness that is The King, the indie singer-songwriter’s masterful expression of grief.—Stephen Daw, Billboard, 8 Sep. 2023 The longest of Cardi B's purple spirals cascaded toward her lower back while the shorter multi-colored pieces formed a curly bang.—Gabi Thorne, Allure, 5 Sep. 2023 Read full article The latest attack is part of a relentless spiral of violence that has fueled the worst fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank in nearly two decades.—Sam McNeil and Nasser Nasser, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2023 Economists caution that such a train wreck is not guaranteed, and the spiral has not kicked into gear anywhere yet.—Rachel Siegel, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Sep. 2023 The stems can be guided through training methods to resemble braids, spirals, hearts and loops.—Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 31 Aug. 2023 That’s a big deal to Federal Reserve officials, who have spoken publicly about their fears of a wage-price spiral — the feedback loop that drives inflation higher as people make more money and go out and spend it.—Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 30 Aug. 2023
Another conservative legal scholar, Stanford University’s Michael McConnell, agreed the 14th Amendment approach could spiral out of control.—Politifact Staff Writer, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 Should the investment bank’s bleaker prediction prove true—rather than its base case estimate for year-end 2024 of $93—then this could quickly spiral into an election issue in next year’s campaign.—Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 7 Sep. 2023 In recent weeks, Country Garden has become emblematic of China’s spiraling property crisis, which is hampering efforts by the government to reignite economic growth.—Michelle Toh, CNN, 6 Sep. 2023 After months of rising prices and social media hype, the crypto market last year spiraled into a crisis that cost investors billions in savings and allowed lawyers, bankers and other traditional power brokers to reap immense profits.—Yiwen Lu, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Rodriguez stars as a troubled ex-soldier who fights to save her family as the world spirals out of control.—Starr Savoy, ELLE, 28 Aug. 2023 And in the weeks leading up to the shooting, Loftin said, Crumbley was spiraling, alone and depressed.—Gina Kaufman, Detroit Free Press, 18 Aug. 2023 In the finale, the play spirals into an onstage brawl after Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) storms the set to confront Lexi, her younger sister.—Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 The disagreement had spiraled into one of the big rifts in their relationship.—Sarah Felbin, Women's Health, 18 Aug. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spiral.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Medieval Latin spiralis, from Latin spira coil — more at spire