View synonyms for spin


[ spin ]

verb (used with object)

, spun or (Archaic) span, spun, spin·ning.
  1. to make (yarn) by drawing out, twisting, and winding fibers:

    Pioneer women spun yarn on spinning wheels.

  2. to form (the fibers of any material) into thread or yarn:

    The machine spins nylon thread.

  3. (of spiders, silkworms, etc.) to produce (a thread, cobweb, gossamer, silk, etc.) by extruding from the body a long, slender filament of a natural viscous matter that hardens in the air.
  4. to cause to turn around rapidly, as on an axis; twirl; whirl:

    to spin a coin on a table.

  5. Informal. to play (phonograph records):

    a job spinning records on a radio show.

  6. Metalworking. to shape (sheet metal) into a hollow, rounded form by pressure from a tool while rotating the metal on a lathe or wheel.
  7. to produce, fabricate, or evolve in a manner suggestive of spinning thread:

    to spin a tale of sailing ships and bygone days.

    Synonyms: relate, narrate, develop

  8. Rocketry. to cause intentionally (a rocket or guided missile) to undergo a roll.
  9. to draw out, protract, or prolong (often followed by out ):

    He spun the project out for over three years.

    Synonyms: lengthen, extend

  10. British. to flunk a student in an examination or a term's work.
  11. Slang. to cause to have a particular bias; influence in a certain direction:

    His assignment was to spin the reporters after the president's speech.

verb (used without object)

, spun or (Archaic) span, spun, spin·ning.
  1. to revolve or rotate rapidly, as the earth or a top.

    Synonyms: gyrate

  2. to produce a thread from the body, as spiders or silkworms.
  3. to produce yarn or thread by spinning.
  4. to move, go, run, ride, or travel rapidly.
  5. to have a sensation of whirling; reel:

    My head began to spin and I fainted.

  6. to fish with a spinning or revolving bait.


  1. the act of causing a spinning or whirling motion.
  2. a spinning motion given to a ball, wheel, axle, or other object.
  3. a downward movement or trend, especially one that is sudden, alarming, etc.:

    Steel prices went into a spin.

  4. a rapid run, ride, drive, or the like, as for exercise or enjoyment:

    They went for a spin in the car.

  5. Slang. a particular viewpoint or bias, especially in the media; slant:

    They tried to put a favorable spin on the news coverage of the controversial speech.

  6. Also called tailspin,. Aeronautics. a maneuver in which an airplane descends in a vertical direction along a helical path of large pitch and small radius at an angle of attack greater than the critical angle, dangerous when not done intentionally or under control.
  7. Rocketry.
    1. the act of intentionally causing a rocket or guided missile to undergo a roll.
    2. a roll so caused.
  8. Also called spin angular momentum. Physics. the intrinsic angular momentum characterizing each kind of elementary particle, having one of the values 0, 1/2, 1/3, … when measured in units of Planck's constant divided by 2π.
  9. Australian. a run of luck; fate.

verb phrase

    1. to create something new, as a company or assets, without detracting from or affecting the relative size or stability of the original:

      After the acquisition, the company was required to spin off about a third of its assets.

    2. to derive from or base on something done previously:

      They took the character of the maid and spun off another TV series.


/ spɪn /


  1. to rotate or cause to rotate rapidly, as on an axis
    1. to draw out and twist (natural fibres, as of silk or cotton) into a long continuous thread
    2. to make such a thread or filament from (synthetic resins, etc), usually by forcing through a nozzle
  2. (of spiders, silkworms, etc) to form (webs, cocoons, etc) from a silky fibre exuded from the body
  3. tr to shape (metal) into a rounded form on a lathe
  4. informal.
    tr to tell (a tale, story, etc) by drawing it out at great length (esp in the phrase spin a yarn )
  5. to bowl, pitch, hit, or kick (a ball) so that it rotates in the air and changes direction or speed on bouncing, or (of a ball) to be projected in this way
  6. intr (of wheels) to revolve rapidly without causing propulsion
  7. to cause (an aircraft) to dive in a spiral descent or (of an aircraft) to dive in a spiral descent
  8. intrfoll byalong to drive or travel swiftly
  9. Alsospin-dry tr to rotate (clothes) in a washing machine in order to extract surplus water
  10. intr to reel or grow dizzy, as from turning around

    my head is spinning

  11. intr to fish by drawing a revolving lure through the water
  12. informal.
    intr to present news or information in a way that creates a favourable impression


  1. a swift rotating motion; instance of spinning
  2. physics
    1. the intrinsic angular momentum of an elementary particle or atomic nucleus, as distinguished from any angular momentum resulting from its motion
    2. a quantum number determining values of this angular momentum in units of the Dirac constant, having integral or half-integral values Ss
  3. a condition of loss of control of an aircraft or an intentional flight manoeuvre in which the aircraft performs a continuous spiral descent because the angle of maximum lift is less than the angle of incidence
  4. a spinning motion imparted to a ball, etc
  5. (in skating) any of various movements involving spinning rapidly on the spot
  6. informal.
    a short or fast drive, ride, etc, esp in a car, for pleasure
  7. flat spin informal.
    a state of agitation or confusion
  8. informal.
    a period of time or an experience; chance or luck; fortune

    a bad spin

  9. informal.
    commerce a sudden downward trend in prices, values, etc
  10. informal.
    the practice of presenting news or information in a way that creates a favourable impression
  11. on the spin informal.
    one after another

    they have lost two finals on the spin


/ spĭn /

  1. The intrinsic angular momentum of a rigid body or particle, especially a subatomic particle.
  2. Also called spin angular momentum
  3. The total angular momentum of a physical system, such as an electron orbital or an atomic nucleus.
  4. A quantum number expressing spin angular momentum; the actual angular momentum is a quantum number multiplied by Dirac's constant. Fermions have spin values that are integer multiples of 1 2 , while bosons have spin values that are integer multiples of 1.

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Other Words From

  • spinna·bili·ty noun
  • spinna·ble adjective
  • outspin verb (used with object) outspun outspinning
  • un·spinna·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of spin1

First recorded before 900; Middle English spinnen “to spin yarn,” Old English spinnan; cognate with Dutch, German spinnen, Old Norse spinna, Gothic spinnan

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Word History and Origins

Origin of spin1

Old English spinnan; related to Old Norse spinna, Old High German spinnan to spin, Lithuanian pinu to braid

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. spin out, (of an automobile) to undergo a spinout.
  2. spin one's wheels. wheel ( def 27 ).

More idioms and phrases containing spin

  • go into a tailspin
  • make one's head spin
  • put a spin on

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Synonym Study

See turn.

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Example Sentences

There are days as a PR person you’re going out there and, yes, you cherry-pick facts to put the best spin on stuff.

From Ozy

Judges often guess the number of flips or spins based on how long the athlete stayed in the air and what position he or she landed in.

However, we found that15 LHPs generally have had lower spin rates on their pitches, both fastballs and off-speed pitches.

Pitcher Caleb Smith has elite spin and movement, allowing him to strike out better than a batter per inning for his three-year career.

Cisco’s social media strategists have however put a new spin on the B2B Snapchat social media experience.

The effort to sterilize his image first began when Epstein hired Los Angeles-based spin doctors Sitrick Co.

Although he brings a Western spin to things, he seems equally inspired by the local sense of style.

Spin control began, Florida-style: the opinion only covers some counties, some people, some times.

David Greenberg at Rutgers University has a book coming out next year on political spin.

Aaron Paul may play a young Han Solo in the first Star Wars spin-off.

You can probably realize just how headquarters would take the sort of yarn we'd spin if we dashed in and told them the truth.

"Let us go down the shore a bit," suggested Jack to Pepper and Andy, and the three joined hands for the spin.

The women of the interior spin and weave for their household, and they also embroider very beautifully.

Neither of us had the advantage for the moment, so I went in for a quick wristlock and spin.

It was as if she could spin it out by interposing between the moment and its end a series of insignificant acts.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.