Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “spiral”


verb [I usually + adv/prep]     /ˈspaɪə.rəl/ US  /ˈspaɪr.əl/ (-ll- or US usually -l-)
to move in a spiral: With one wing damaged, the model airplane spiralled downwards.Moving downwardsFalling and dropping If costs, prices, etc. spiral, they increase faster and faster: Spiralling costs have squeezed profits.Value and price increases spiral downwards (of prices, etc.) to get less, at a faster and faster rateValue and price decreases
(Definition of spiral verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of spiral

Definitions of “spiral” in other dictionaries

Translations of “spiral”

Word of the Day


willing to give money, help, kindness, etc., especially more than is usual or expected

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More