[ teyl-spin ]
See synonyms for tailspin on Thesaurus.com
nounAlso tail spin .
  1. a sudden and helpless collapse into failure, confusion, or the like.

verb (used without object),tail·spinned, tail·spin·ning.
  1. to take or experience a sudden and dramatic downturn: After the mill closes, the local economy may tailspin.

Origin of tailspin

First recorded in 1910–15; tail1 + spin

Words Nearby tailspin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tailspin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tailspin


/ (ˈteɪlˌspɪn) /

  1. aeronautics another name for spin (def. 16)

  2. informal a state of confusion or panic

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with tailspin


see go into a tailspin.

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