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spin Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a swift whirling motion (usually of a missile)
  2. noun the act of rotating rapidly
    twist; whirl; twisting; twirl.
    • he gave the crank a spin
    • it broke off after much twisting
  3. noun a short drive in a car
    • he took the new car for a spin
  4. noun rapid descent of an aircraft in a steep spiral
  5. noun a distinctive interpretation (especially as used by politicians to sway public opinion)
    • the campaign put a favorable spin on the story
  6. verb revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis
    reel; whirl; gyrate; spin around.
    • The dervishes whirl around and around without getting dizzy
  7. verb stream in jets, of liquids
    • The creek spun its course through the woods
  8. verb cause to spin
    whirl; birl; twirl.
    • spin a coin
  9. verb make up a story
    • spin a yarn
  10. verb form a web by making a thread
    • spiders spin a fine web
  11. verb work natural fibers into a thread
    • spin silk
  12. verb twist and turn so as to give an intended interpretation
    • The President's spokesmen had to spin the story to make it less embarrassing
  13. verb prolong or extend
    spin out.
    • spin out a visit

Spin transitive verb
AS. spinnan; akin to D. & G. spinnen, Icel. & Sw. spinna, Dan. spinde, Goth. spinnan, and probably to E. span. Cf. Span, v. t., Spider.
imperfect & past participle Spun (archaic imperfect Span ); present participle & verbal noun Spinning
  1. To draw out, and twist into threads, either by the hand or machinery; as, to spin wool, cotton, or flax; to spin goat's hair; to produce by drawing out and twisting a fibrous material.
    All the yarn she [Penelope] spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Shak.
  2. To draw out tediously; to form by a slow process, or by degrees; to extend to a great length; -- with out; as, to spin out large volumes on a subject.
    Do you mean that story is tediously spun out? Sheridan.
  3. To protract; to spend by delays; as, to spin out the day in idleness.
    By one delay after another they spin out their whole lives. L'Estrange.
  4. To cause to turn round rapidly; to whirl; to twirl; as, to spin a top.
  5. To form (a web, a cocoon, silk, or the like) from threads produced by the extrusion of a viscid, transparent liquid, which hardens on coming into contact with the air; -- said of the spider, the silkworm, etc.
  6. (Mech.) To shape, as malleable sheet metal, into a hollow form, by bending or buckling it by pressing against it with a smooth hand tool or roller while the metal revolves, as in a lathe.
Spin intransitive verb
  1. To practice spinning; to work at drawing and twisting threads; to make yarn or thread from fiber; as, the woman knows how to spin; a machine or jenny spins with great exactness.
    They neither know to spin, nor care to toll. Prior.
  2. To move round rapidly; to whirl; to revolve, as a top or a spindle, about its axis.
    Round about him spun the landscape, Sky and forest reeled together. Longfellow.
    With a whirligig of jubilant mosquitoes spinning about each head. G. W. Cable.
  3. To stream or issue in a thread or a small current or jet; as, blood spinsfrom a vein. Shak.
  4. To move swifty; as, to spin along the road in a carriage, on a bicycle, etc. Colloq.
Spin noun
  1. The act of spinning; as, the spin of a top; a spin a bicycle. Colloq.
  2. (Kinematics) Velocity of rotation about some specified axis.

Webster 1913