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spiral - definition and synonyms


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verb [intransitive] spiral pronunciation in British English /ˈspaɪrəl/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlespiralling
past tensespiralled
past participlespiralled
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  1. 1
    to move in the shape of a spiral
    Smoke was spiralling from the burning building.
  2. 2
    to continuously become worse, more, or less
    spiral out of control: Crime has begun to spiral out of control in the capital.
    spiral into: The economic crisis could spiral into a political disaster.
    spiral up/upwards/down/downwards: The news sent share prices spiralling down to a five-year low.

derived word


spiralling wages and costs


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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