tail·​spin | \ ˈtāl-ˌspin How to pronounce tailspin (audio) \

Definition of tailspin

2 : a mental or emotional letdown or collapse
3 : a sustained and usually severe decline or downturn stock prices in a tailspin

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Examples of tailspin in a Sentence

Stock prices are in a tailspin. The team went into a tailspin and lost six straight games.

Recent Examples on the Web

That, of course, sends Kevin into a tailspin later. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is Us Season 3 Episode 10: Randall Wins the Race as He and Beth Reach an Impasse," 16 Jan. 2019 That spurred a historic bubble, which collapsed in the early 1990s, sending Japan into a tailspin. Peter Landers, WSJ, "The Old U.S. Trade War With Japan Looms Over Today’s Dispute With China," 13 Dec. 2018 There were 90's inspired claw clips, scrunchies and one particularly memorable tiara on Kate Middleton that sent Londoners into a tailspin. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "10 Beauty Trends That Broke The Internet in 2018," 6 Dec. 2018 In 2015, after Turkish jet fighters downed a Russian warplane on the Syria-Turkey border, bilateral ties went into a tailspin. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Fragile Syria Cease-Fire Tests Russia-Turkey Ties," 25 Nov. 2018 The accusations have thrown the once-formulaic Supreme Court confirmation process into a tailspin as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle try to figure out how to move forward with the hearings for President Trump’s pick. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "Kavanaugh classmate has no recollection of party where alleged sexual assault occurred," 19 Sep. 2018 Yet Viacom’s stock had been in a tailspin, losing half its value during the previous two years, and investors were clamoring for some kind of dramatic action. Keach Hagey, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Moment the War for Sumner Redstone’s Media Empire Really Began (Exclusive Book Excerpt)," 26 June 2018 Bitcoin and other digital currencies are in a tailspin. Chris Morris, Fortune, "One-Month Losses for the 10 Biggest Cryptocurrencies Top $134 Billion," 17 Jan. 2018 Republicans have been in a tailspin for years in California, where a diversifying population has grown increasingly Democratic in its leanings. Washington Post, "California Republicans see ray of hope in Democratic bastion," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tailspin.' 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 tailspin

1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tailspin

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tailspin

The first known use of tailspin was in 1917

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More Definitions for tailspin



English Language Learners Definition of tailspin

: a condition in which an airplane is falling rapidly while turning around and around
: a state in which something quickly becomes much worse


tail·​spin | \ ˈtāl-ˌspin How to pronounce tailspin (audio) \

Kids Definition of tailspin

: a dive by an airplane turning in a circle

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More from Merriam-Webster on tailspin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tailspin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tailspin

Spanish Central: Translation of tailspin

Nglish: Translation of tailspin for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tailspin

What made you want to look up tailspin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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