Geometry. a plane curve generated by a point moving around a fixed point while constantly receding from or approaching it.
a single circle or ring of a spiral or helical curve or object.
a spiral or helical object, formation, or form.
Aeronautics. a maneuver in which an airplane descends in a helix of small pitch and large radius, with the angle of attack within that of the normal flight range.
Football. a type of kick or pass in which the ball turns on its longer axis as it flies through the air.
Economics. a continuous increase in costs, wages, prices, etc. (inflationary spiral ), or a decrease in costs, wages, prices, etc. (deflationary spiral ).
running continuously around a fixed point or center while constantly receding from or approaching it; coiling in a single plane: a spiral curve.
coiling around a fixed line or axis in a constantly changing series of planes; helical.
of or of the nature of a spire or coil.
bound with a spiral binding; spiral-bound: a spiral notebook.
to take a spiral form or course.
to advance or increase steadily; rise: Costs have been spiraling all year.
Aeronautics. to fly an airplane through a spiral course.
to cause to take a spiral form or course.
- spi·ral·i·ty [spahy-ral-i-tee], /spaɪˈræl ɪ ti/, noun
- spi·ral·ly, adverb
- mul·ti·spi·ral, adjective
- non·spi·ral, adjective, noun
- sub·spi·ral, adjective
- sub·spi·ral·ly, adverb
- un·spi·ral, adjective
- un·spi·ral·ly, adverb
- un·spi·raled, adjective
- un·spi·ralled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use spiral in a sentence
India’s healthcare system has spiralled into total chaos following the Covid-19 outbreak.Covid-19 is teaching India to use maps to battle the next pandemic | Ananya Bhattacharya | July 30, 2020 | Quartz
It’s possible, too, that some of the partisan divides we’re seeing now could start to narrow as outbreaks spiral out of control in states like Arizona, Florida and Texas.Republicans And Democrats See COVID-19 Very Differently. Is That Making People Sick? | Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux | July 23, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
Images from the telescopes show a spiral disk of gas and dust surrounding AB Aurigae.
It likely has spiral arms, too, the scientists say — just like the Milky Way.Oldest disk galaxy puts a new spin on galaxy growth | Lisa Grossman | June 30, 2020 | Science News For Students
Our spirals might all trace back to an unexpected influence from cosmic rays.Cosmic Rays May Explain Life’s Bias for Right-Handed DNA | Charlie Wood | June 29, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
The now-convicted felons will hear their sentences in January, but their story continues to spiral downward.
This downward spiral involving local power politics was obvious to the Americans in the valley.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley | Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman | November 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Without those subsidies, the worst-case scenario has Obamacare entering a fiscal death spiral.
To his fellow survivors and to the audience, this delusion indicates another slip on a downward spiral.The Walking Dead’s Luke Skywalker: Rick Grimes Is the Perfect Modern-Day Mythical Hero | Regina Lizik | October 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In 2008, it was looking at a death spiral: cut credit ratings, claims on the policies, and collateral calls.Remember the $182 Billion AIG Bailout? It Just Wasn’t Generous Enough | Daniel Gross | October 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The organism is an actively motile spiral thread, about four times the diameter of a red corpuscle in length.
See that silver spiral going out from Venus and around the table to the orbit of Saturn?Fee of the Frontier | Horace Brown Fyfe
Spirochte pallida is an extremely slender, spiral, motile thread, with pointed ends.
Upon ulcerated surfaces it is often mingled with other spiral micro-organisms, which adds to the difficulty of its detection.
The palpi of the male are in this species each provided with a spiral screw resembling the tendril of a vine.
British Dictionary definitions for spiral
geometry one of several plane curves formed by a point winding about a fixed point at an ever-increasing distance from it. Polar equation of Archimedes spiral: r = a θ; of logarithmic spiral: log r = a θ; of hyperbolic spiral: r θ = a, (where a is a constant)
another name for helix (def. 1)
something that pursues a winding, usually upward, course or that displays a twisting form or shape
a flight manoeuvre in which an aircraft descends describing a helix of comparatively large radius with the angle of attack within the normal flight range: Compare spin (def. 16)
economics a continuous upward or downward movement in economic activity or prices, caused by interaction between prices, wages, demand, and production
having the shape of a spiral
to assume or cause to assume a spiral course or shape
(intr) to increase or decrease with steady acceleration: wages and prices continue to spiral
- spirally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012