Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “spiral”

spiral

verb [I, usually + adv/prep]
 
 
/ˈspaɪərəl/ (UK -ll-, US -l-)
(also spiral up/upward(s)) if costs, prices, etc. spiral, they increase quickly: Costs spiral, and the patient is subjected to tests they don't need. Inflation began to spiral upward.spiral (from sth) to sth The country's foreign debt spiralled from $840 million to $2.6 billion.
spiral downwards if costs, prices, etc. spiral downwards, they go down quickly: Stock prices have spiralled downwards for the past two weeks.
spiral out of control if a situation spirals out of control, it becomes impossible to control because one bad event causes another: The project spiraled out of control, running $300 million over budget. There is a great deal of evidence that internet gambling is spiralling rapidly out of control.
spiralling (US spiraling)
(Definition of spiral verb from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of spiral?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More Business English definitions for “spiral”

Definitions of “spiral” in other dictionaries

Translations of “spiral”

Word of the Day

look on the bright side

to find good things in a bad situation

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More