Meaning of SPIN in English

I. spin 1 S3 /spɪn/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle spun /spʌn/, present participle spinning )

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: spinnan ]

1 . TURN AROUND [intransitive and transitive] to turn around and around very quickly, or to make something do this:

The plane’s propellers were spinning.

spin (something/somebody) around

She grabbed Norm’s arm and spun him around to face her.

2 . sb’s head is spinning ( also the room is spinning ) if your head or the room is spinning, you feel as if you might ↑ faint (=become unconscious) because you are shocked, excited, or drunk:

I was pouring with sweat, and my head was spinning.

The room started to spin.

3 . SITUATION/INFORMATION [transitive] to describe a situation or information in a way that is intended to influence the way people think about it – used especially about what politicians or business people do:

Supporters attempted to spin the bill’s defeat to their advantage.

4 . spin a tale/story/yarn to tell a story, especially using a lot of imagination:

She spun a story about a trip to Athens to meet one of the authors.

5 . WOOL/COTTON [intransitive and transitive] to make cotton, wool etc into thread by twisting it

6 . DRIVE [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] written to drive or travel quickly SYN speed

spin past/along etc

Barbara spun past in her new sports car.

7 . spin your wheels American English to continue trying to do something without having any success:

I felt like I was just spinning my wheels trying to make him understand.

8 . WET CLOTHES [transitive] British English to get water out of clothes using a machine after you have washed them

9 . INSECT [transitive] if a ↑ spider or insect spins a ↑ web or ↑ cocoon , it produces thread to make it

spin off phrasal verb

to make part of a company into a separate and partly independent company, or to become a separate company

spin something ↔ off

At the time of the merger, Loral spun off its space divisions into a separate firm.

spin off from

Lucent spun off from AT&T several years ago.

⇨ ↑ spin-off (2)

• • •


▪ turn to move around a central or fixed point:

The wheels of the train began to turn.

▪ go around ( also go round British English ) to turn around a central point. Go around is a little more informal than turn and is very common in everyday English:

When the fan goes around, the warm air is pushed back downwards.

▪ revolve/rotate to turn around and around a central point. Rotate and revolve are more formal than turn and sound more technical:

The Earth rotates on its axis once every twenty-four hours.


The stage revolves at various points during the performance.

▪ spin to turn around many times very quickly:

The ice skater began to spin faster and faster.

▪ whirl /wɜːl $ wɜːrl/ to spin around extremely quickly, often in a powerful or uncontrolled way:

The blades of the helicopter whirled overhead.

▪ twirl (around) to spin around quickly, especially as part of a dance or performance:

The couples were twirling around on the dance floor.

▪ swirl (around) to move around quickly in a circular movement, especially when the movement goes outwards or upwards from the center:

Her white skirt swirled around her legs as she danced.


The leaves began to swirl around.

▪ spiral to move in a continuous curve that gets nearer to or further from its central point as it goes around:

The smoke spiralled toward the ceiling.

spin out phrasal verb

1 . spin something ↔ out British English to make something continue for longer than is necessary SYN drag out :

I’m paid by the hour, so I spin the work out as long as I can.

2 . spin something ↔ out British English to use money, food etc as carefully and slowly as possible, because you do not have very much of it

spin something ↔ out over

I’ve only got £10 left, so we’ll have to spin it out over the whole week.

3 . American English if a car spins out, the driver loses control of it and the car spins around

II. spin 2 BrE AmE noun

1 . TURNING [countable] an act of turning around quickly:

the Earth’s spin

The Russian skater finished her routine with a series of spins.

2 . CAR [singular] informal a short trip in a car for pleasure SYN drive :

Let’s go for a spin in the country.

Do you want to take my car for a spin?

3 . BALL [uncountable] if you put spin on a ball in a game such as tennis or ↑ cricket , you deliberately make the ball turn very quickly so that it is difficult for your opponent to hit

4 . INFORMATION [singular, uncountable] the way someone, especially a politician or business person, talks about information or a situation, especially in order to influence the way people think about it:

They tried to put a positive spin on the sales figures.

⇨ ↑ spin doctor

5 . AIRCRAFT [singular] if an aircraft goes into a spin, it falls suddenly, turning around and around

6 . in/into a (flat) spin if you are in a spin, you are very confused and anxious:

The sudden fall on the stock market sent brokers into a spin.

7 . WET CLOTHES give something a spin British English to turn clothes around very fast in a machine to remove water from them

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.