tail·​spin ˈtāl-ˌspin How to pronounce tailspin (audio)
: a mental or emotional letdown or collapse
: a sustained and usually severe decline or downturn
stock prices in a tailspin

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 Los Angeles won its third straight following a blowout loss to Buffalo last week that threatened to send the Kings into a tailspin. Will Graves, USA TODAY, 19 Feb. 2024 The Kings won their third straight following a 7-0 blowout loss to Buffalo last week that threatened to send them into a tailspin. Austin Knoblauch, Los Angeles Times, 19 Feb. 2024 None of his recent films have made a huge amount of money, but he is once again being well reviewed, appearing on talk shows, and working with larger budgets and big studios after a career tailspin that felt potentially terminal. Isaac Butler, The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2023 Hockey Jonathan Quick was the King who transformed Stanley Cup dreams into reality March 5, 2023 One loss didn’t push the Kings into this tailspin of 10 losses in 12 games. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2024 Their brains are not yet able to weigh many perspectives, options or rational thought, and virtually anything, from hunger to pain to fatigue, will send them into a tailspin. Meghan Leahy, Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2024 That sent businesses that depend on them into a tailspin, and the measure was almost as suddenly withdrawn. Alex Travelli, New York Times, 2 Jan. 2024 But there was one moment in particular that sent Robyn into a tailspin. Dory Jackson, Peoplemag, 25 Dec. 2023 Just as the two companies were ramping up work, the COVID pandemic threw the global supply chain into a tailspin, slowing down the firms’ and their suppliers’ ability to get even minor parts such as springs. Michael Greshko, Scientific American, 21 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tailspin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tailspin was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near tailspin

Cite this Entry

“Tailspin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tailspin. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


tail·​spin ˈtā(ə)l-ˌspin How to pronounce tailspin (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on tailspin

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