spiral

A spiral is a coil or curl, like the shape of a piece of hair wound around your finger, a Slinky toy, or a corkscrew.

A curve forming a series of circles that become gradually larger or smaller is one kind of spiral. You can also use the word as a verb when something moves in a spiral shape: "Then the wind died and I watched my kite spiral down to the ground." The origin of spiral is the Medieval Latin spiralis, which means "winding or coiling," from a Greek root: speira, "coil, twist, or wreath."

Definitions of spiral
  1. noun
    a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops
    synonyms: coil, helix, volute, whorl
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    types:
    hank
    a coil of rope or wool or yarn
    skein
    coils of worsted yarn
    type of:
    construction, structure
    a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts
  2. noun
    a curve that lies on the surface of a cylinder or cone and cuts the element at a constant angle
    synonyms: helix
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    types:
    double helix
    a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis
    type of:
    curve, curved shape
    the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
  3. noun
    flying downward in a helical path with a large radius
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    type of:
    rotary motion, rotation
    the act of rotating as if on an axis
  4. noun
    a continuously accelerating change in the economy
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    types:
    inflationary spiral
    an episode of inflation in which prices and wages increase at an increasing rate and currency rapidly loses value
    deflationary spiral
    an episode of deflation in which prices and wages decrease at an increasing rate and currency gains in value
    type of:
    economic process
    any process affecting the production and development and management of material wealth
  5. noun
    a plane curve traced by a point circling about the center but at increasing distances from the center
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    type of:
    curve, curved shape
    the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
  6. noun
    ornament consisting of a curve on a plane that winds around a center with an increasing distance from the center
    synonyms: volute
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    type of:
    decoration, ornament, ornamentation
    something used to beautify
  7. adjective
    in the shape of a coil
    synonyms: coiling, helical, spiraling, turbinate, volute, voluted, whorled
    coiled
    curled or wound (especially in concentric rings or spirals)
  8. verb
    move in a spiral or zigzag course
    synonyms: corkscrew
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    type of:
    turn
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
  9. verb
    wind or move in a spiral course
    synonyms: coil, gyrate
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    type of:
    turn
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
  10. verb
    form a spiral
    “The path spirals up the mountain”
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    type of:
    curve, twist, wind
    extend in curves and turns
Word Family