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

transitive verb

: to unwind from a spool
unspool the cable
: 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 On the album’s opening title track, Greenwood unspools some acoustic lullaby strum and Yorke coos anxiously as his voice pings amid elegiacally dissolving electro-acoustic folderol. Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone, 23 Jan. 2024 And there are no less than eight new releases set to unspool over the next 14 days, which could help theaters finish the year having passed that coveted figure. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 17 Dec. 2023 Wonka is one of the first Hollywood pics to unspool since the SAG-AFTRA strike ended. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Dec. 2023 Thus the series simultaneously unspools two mysteries: the titular murder in the show’s present and a string of crimes in the past, as teen Darby tracks a serial killer while falling in love with her sleuthing partner. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2023 Consolidated as a key platform for Moroccan, Arab and African projects and pix in production made by a new generation of filmmakers and created by Marrakech Festival artistic director Remi Bonhomme, the Atlas Workshops unspool Nov. 27-30. John Hopewell, Variety, 3 Nov. 2023 After two pandemic years and a successful 2022 edition back in full swing, Lucca Comics & Games — Europe’s biggest geek meet, second in size globally only to Tokyo’s Comiket — is set to unspool again in the picturesque Tuscan town from Nov. 1-5. Davide Abbatescianni, Variety, 30 Oct. 2023 Music for Screens will unspool virtually from Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Variety‘s annual deep dive into the world of composing for the screen is one of several official activations for the LA3C festival set to run Dec. 10-11 at Los Angeles State Historic Park. William Earl, Variety, 3 Nov. 2022 But unlike some experimental music, there’s nothing difficult or forced here—these simple, consonant pieces unspool as naturally as thought. Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unspool.' 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

1940, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unspool was in 1940

Dictionary Entries Near unspool

Cite this Entry

“Unspool.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unspool. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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