spin Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Definition of “spin” - English Dictionary

"spin" in American English

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spinverb

 us   /spɪn/ (present participle spinning, past tense and past participle spun  /spʌn/ )
  • spin verb (TURN)

[I/T] to ​turn around and around, or to ​cause something or someone to ​turn: [I] The ​earth spins on ​itsaxis. [I] She ​heardfootsteps behind her, and spun around to ​see who was there. [T] The ​slightcontact spun Joyce around.
  • spin verb (MAKE THREAD)

[T] to make ​thread by ​twistingfibers, or to ​produce something using ​thread: Cotton is spun into ​thread. Spiders spin ​webs.

spinnoun

 us   /spɪn/
  • spin noun (WAY OF REPRESENTING)

[U] a ​particular way of ​representing an ​event or ​situation to the ​public so that it will be ​understood in a way that you ​want it to be ​understood: They ​tried to put a ​positive/​negative spin on the ​story (= They ​tried to make it ​seembetter or ​worse), but nobody was ​fooled. To ​understand spin, he said, is to ​understand that you get ​yourstory told without getting ​yourfingerprints on it.
  • spin noun (TRIP)

[C] a ​shorttrip taken for ​pleasure, usually in a ​car: We went for a spin in Bill’s new ​car.
  • spin noun (TURN)

[C/U] a ​fastturningmovement: [C] I ​hit a ​patch of ​ice in the ​road, which ​sent the ​car into a spin.
(Definition of spin from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"spin" in British English

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spinverb

uk   us   /spɪn/ (present participle spinning, past tense spun, past participle UK also span)
  • spin verb (TURN)

C1 [I or T] to (​cause to) ​turn around and around, ​especiallyfast: The ​earth spins on ​itsaxis. The ​rouletteplayerssilentlywatched the ​wheel spin around/round. He was ​killed when his ​carhit a ​tree and spun off the ​road. Spin the ​ball (= make it ​turn around and around as you ​throw it) and it will ​changedirection when it ​hits the ​ground.head/room spins If ​yourhead or the ​room spins, you ​feel as if it is ​turning around and around, and you cannot ​balance: The ​roomstarted spinning and I ​feltfaint.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • spin verb (MAKE THREAD)

[I or T] to make ​thread by ​twisting fibres , or to ​produce something using ​thread: The ​finalstage of the ​production of ​cotton is when it is spun intothread. Spiders spin ​webs.
spin (sb) a story/tale/yarn to ​tell a ​story, either to ​deceive someone or for ​entertainment: He spun some ​tale about ​needing to take ​time off ​work because his ​mother was ​ill. [+ two objects] They spun us a ​story about being in ​desperate need of ​money.
  • spin verb (DRIVE)

[I + adv/prep] informal (of a ​vehicle) to ​movequickly, or to ​movequickly in a ​vehicle: We were spinning along, when ​suddenly one of ​ourtyresburst. Chris spun past in a ​flashy new ​car.

spinnoun

uk   us   /spɪn/
  • spin noun (TURN)

[C or U] the ​movement of something ​turning round very ​quickly: I ​hit something on the ​road, which ​sent the ​car into a spin. Suddenly, the ​plane went into a spin. These ​clothes need another spin (= to be ​turned round very ​fast in a ​machine to get ​water out of them) - they're still very ​wet. She put a lot of spin on the ​ball (= ​threw or ​hit it in a way that made it spin).
  • spin noun (CHANGE IDEAS)

[S or U] informal a way of ​describing an ​idea or ​situation that makes it ​seembetter than it really is, ​especially in ​politics: They have ​tried to put a ​positive spin on the ​situation. This ​report puts a different spin on the ​issue.
Idioms
(Definition of spin from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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