General English

General Science

  • verb to rotate rapidly or cause something to rotate rapidly


  • noun the continued spiral descent of an aircraft where the angle of attack of one wing is greater than the stalling angle
  • verb to put an aircraft into a continued spiral descent with the angle of attack of the mainplane greater than the stalling angle


  • noun a special meaning given to something


  • noun a rotary motion imparted to the ball as it is delivered by the bowler, causing it to change pace or deviate from its original line of flight after pitching
    Citation ‘The wickets were coconut matting on hard clay … but they took all the spin you put on the ball and there was always some lift’ (James 1963)
  • noun the technique of spinning the ball, or the type of bowling produced in this way; spin bowling
    Citation ‘It is often possible nowadays to watch much of a day’s cricket — certainly in over-limit games — without seeing much worthwhile spin’ (Arlott 1983)
    Citation ‘In this opening Test there was so little Indian spin that seventeen of the eighteen English wickets that fell went to seamers or quick bowlers’ (Bose 1990)
    Citation ‘In 1950, the West Indies and the Three W’s achieved their greatest success in England, their exploits complementing those of the spin bowlers Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine’ (B C Pires, obituary for Sir Clyde Walcott, Guardian 28 August 2006)
  • verb to impart spin to the ball when bowling
    Citation ‘Allan, a left-hander, spun the ball a lot and made it curl in the air before hopping towards first slip’ (Frith 1984)
  • verb (of the ball) to change direction after pitching as a result of spin
    Citation ‘The ball that turned the series was undoubtedly the first-up delivery from leggie Shane Warne, which deceived Gatting in flight and then spun from a foot outside the leg stump to hit off’ (Peter hook, Australian Cricket October 1993)


  • The intrinsic angular momentum of particles, such as electrons, protons, photons, and antiparticles. A particle has spin even when at rest.
  • Rotation of an object or body around an axis or central point. Also, to quickly rotate in this manner.

Media Studies

  • noun the act of interpreting and presenting news according to a particular point of view


  • noun an interpretation of information that is intended to guide public opinion in a particular direction


  • noun a search (of a home or other premises), typically by police officers. A derivation of spin (someone’s) drum.

Origin & History of “spin”

Spin is a general Germanic word, with relatives in German and Dutch spinnen, Swedish spinna, and Danish spinde. It goes back ultimately to a prehistoric Indo-European base *spen- or *pen- ‘stretch’ which also produced English span, Lithuanian pinti ‘plait’, and Old church Slavonic peti ‘stretch’. English words derived from it or its immediate Germanic ancestor include spider, spill ‘slip of wood’, spindle (OE), and spinster (14th c.) (originally a ‘female spinner’, and not used as a designation of an unmarried woman until the 17th century).