Company Logo

Definition from



What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing.These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are morefrequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

verb British English pronunciation: spin /spɪn/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participlespinning
past tensespun
past participlespun
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to turn round and round quickly

    The Earth spins on its axis.

    The dancers were spinning in circles.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something turn round and round quickly

      Spin the wheel with your hand.

    2. c.
      [intransitive/transitive] to turn your head or body quickly so that it faces the opposite direction, or to turn someone quickly so that they face you

      He spun on his heel and walked quickly away.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to twist fibres of a material such as cotton or wool into thread in order to make cloth

    She spins all her own wool.

    She taught me how to spin.

    1. a.
      [transitive] if an insect or spider spins something such as a web, it makes it from thread that it produces in its body

      The class watched the caterpillar spin its cocoon.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if your head spins, you feel confused or ill
  4. 4
    [transitive] informal to present information in a particular way, especially in a way that makes something seem good or less bad

    How do you think the candidate will spin this story?

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to go somewhere quickly in a car, on a bicycle etc
    spin past/by/away:

    A car went spinning past us.

  6. 6
    [transitive] mainly literary to tell a story, especially one that is not true, in an interesting and exciting way

    He spun a ridiculous tale about having worked for the secret services in his youth.

See also

This is the British English definition of spin. View American English definition of spin