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 Still, while a tailspin at the second quarter rate is unlikely, the nascent recovery that began appearing earlier this summer appears to be in jeopardy. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, "U.S. economy contracted at fastest quarterly rate on record from April to June as coronavirus walloped workers, businesses," 30 July 2020 But with Mexico’s economy in a tailspin, there are valid reasons to cultivate this relationship, said Jesus Velasco, a U.S.- Mexico expert at Tarleton State University in Stephenville. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "López Obrador heads to DC to court Trump, an immigrant basher he needs as Mexico’s economy flails," 8 July 2020 Pulling out of the current economic tailspin and revving up spending to pre-pandemic levels is inextricably linked to gaining the upper hand over the coronavirus, according to Joel Prakken, chief U.S. economist at IHS Markit. Chase Difeliciantonio, SFChronicle.com, "U.S. unemployment rate drops to 11.1% as 1.4 million Americans file for benefits," 2 July 2020 The pandemic has so far taken more than 120,000 lives in the U.S., put the economy into a tailspin and pushed the financial system to the brink of collapse. WSJ, "Six Months That Shook the World," 27 June 2020 Even if China does buy more soybeans, relations between China and the U.S. are in a tailspin, one that experts say will accelerate over the coming months for political and economic reasons on both sides of the Pacific. John Walcott, Time, "A Chilly Summit in Hawaii Spotlights Escalating U.S.-China Tensions," 19 June 2020 Friday's film news marks the first major delays announced since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic sent Hollywood into a tailspin and studios scooted their major summer movies to the fall and into 2021. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Wonder Woman 1984' shifts to fall, 'Tenet' moves two weeks as coronavirus cases spike," 12 June 2020 His father gave him a gentle yet stern pep talk that snapped Sacks out of his tailspin. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "The Fixture Zone swivels business model to supply PPE to retailers, manufacturing plants and more," 11 June 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has only added fuel to the flames: Sharp decreases in gasoline demand amid lockdowns sent the oil industry into a tailspin and forced much of biofuels production to idle or significantly scale back capacity. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Iowa’s Joni Ernst is on the front lines of the latest biofuels fight," 11 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for tailspin

Time Traveler

The first known use of tailspin was in 1917

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Statistics for tailspin

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tailspin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tailspin. Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for tailspin


How to pronounce tailspin (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tailspin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tailspin

Spanish Central: Translation of tailspin

Nglish: Translation of tailspin for Spanish Speakers

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