un·​spool | \ ˌən-ˈspül How to pronounce unspool (audio) \
unspooled; unspooling; unspools

Definition of unspool

transitive verb

1 : to unwind from a spool unspool the cable
2 : to execute or present artfully or gracefully unspooled a jump shot unspooling an intricate tale

intransitive verb

: to be presented or revealed on or as if on a motion-picture screen

Examples of unspool in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the next 200 years unspooled in a series of unmitigated political and economic catastrophes. Fortune, "5 Bottles That Will Put You at the Center of Irish Whiskey’s Renaissance," 13 July 2019 My mother and sister were fascinated by the lurid tale that unspooled in the following years (and decades). Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Review: History Theatre’s ‘Glensheen’ is as funny and fascinating as ever," 8 July 2019 What’s more, Sam Mewis got another start in the midfield as a result and played well, including unspooling some penetrating diagonal passes. Grant Wahl, SI.com, "USA Refuses to Avoid Harder Women's World Cup Route–and Is Dealt a Knockout Gauntlet," 20 June 2019 Maradona, famously capricious, unspools himself in voiceover recorded by Kapadia at his home. Thomas Page, CNN, "Sex, drugs and soccer: Diego Maradona film shines light on Napoli years," 12 June 2019 Kershaw unspooled a curve that dove toward the tops of Descalso’s shoes. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw wins on grit, not power," 13 June 2019 The companion star, buffeted by winds from the pulsar, unspools a long tail of plasma like a comet’s. Quanta Magazine, "Ultra-Powerful Radio Bursts May Be Getting a Cosmic Boost," 10 Oct. 2017 Some commenters have tried to unspool these paradoxes by arguing that cozy flyover-country clichés mask the region’s complexity. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Enduring Appeal of Fading Pleasures," 27 Sep. 2018 The crackling synth-heavy production made the past come rushing back until all the tape had unspooled and the deck clicked off. Paul Schrodt, WSJ, "A New Way to Blast Your Old Mixtapes," 18 Dec. 2018

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

1940, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for unspool

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for unspool

The first known use of unspool was in 1940

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unspool

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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