adj., n., & v.
adj. 1 winding about a centre in an enlarging or decreasing continuous circular motion, either on a flat plane or rising in a cone; coiled. 2 winding continuously along or as if along a cylinder, like the thread of a screw.
n. 1 a plane or three-dimensional spiral curve. 2 a spiral spring. 3 a spiral formation in a shell etc. 4 a spiral galaxy. 5 a progressive rise or fall of prices, wages, etc., each responding to an upward or downward stimulus provided by the other (a spiral of rising prices and wages).
v. (spiralled, spiralling; US spiraled, spiraling) 1 intr. move in a spiral course, esp. upwards or downwards. 2 tr. make spiral. 3 intr. esp. Econ. (of prices, wages, etc.) rise or fall, esp. rapidly (cf. sense 5 of n.). spiral balance a device for measuring weight by the torsion of a spiral spring. spiral galaxy a galaxy in which the matter is concentrated mainly in one or more spiral arms. spiral staircase a staircase rising in a spiral round a central axis. spirality n. spirally adv.
[ F spiral or med.L spiralis (as SPIRE(2)) ]