- Geometry. a plane curve generated by a point moving around a fixed point while constantly receding from or approaching it.
- a helix.
- 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.
Origin of spiral
Examples from the Web for spiral
The now-convicted felons will hear their sentences in January, but their story continues to spiral downward.2014 Was a Delectably Good Year for Sleaze
December 30, 2014
Leung, however, has criticized Occupy Central for allowing the protests to spiral out of control.Occupy Hong Kong Hangs On
September 30, 2014
Case in point: the spiral galaxy NGC 5548, which astronomers have been monitoring off and on for decades.The Supermassive Black Hole Smokescreen
Matthew R. Francis
June 22, 2014
Sometimes if parents set too many boundaries and discipline too much, they will then also rebel and spiral out of control.Are Parents to Blame for Their Spoiled Rotten RugBrats?
March 10, 2014
Walking through the spiral hallway into the almost pitch black, circular room, the senses become immediately disoriented.Mariko Mori Rebirth at the Japan Society
October 10, 2013
Here is another spiral similar in every respect to spiral C.
Some cutouts have a spiral spring attached to the cutout armature.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
Lingua spiralis: the spiral tongue of Lepidoptera: see glossa.
Spiral: rolled up like a watch spring, or twisted like a cork-screw.
These are covered and surrounded with boards, fastened on to protect the spiral.Ten Books on Architecture
- 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 rangeCompare 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 accelerationwages and prices continue to spiral
Word Origin and History for spiral
1550s, from Middle French spiral, from Medieval Latin spiralis "winding, coiling" (mid-13c.), from Latin spira "coil," from Greek speira "coil, twist, wreath," from PIE *sper- "to turn, twist." Spiral galaxy first attested 1913.
1726 (implied in spiraled), from spiral (n.). Transferred and figurative sense by 1922. Related: Spiraling.
1650s, from spiral (adj.). U.S. football sense is from 1896.
- Coiling or developing around an axis in a constantly changing series of planes; helical.
- A structure in the shape of a coil.
- To take the form or course of a spiral.