Definition of "spiral" []

  • A curve on a plane that winds around a fixed center point at a continuously increasing or decreasing distance from the point. (noun)
  • A three-dimensional curve that turns around an axis at a constant or continuously varying distance while moving parallel to the axis; a helix. (noun)
  • Something having the form of such a curve: a spiral of black smoke. (noun)
  • Printing A spiral binding. (noun)
  • The course or flight path of an object rotating on its longitudinal axis. (noun)
  • One of several plane curves formed by a point winding about a fixed point at an ever-increasing distance from it. Polar equation of Archimedes spiral: r = aθ; of logarithmic spiral: log r = aθ; of hyperbolic spiral: rθ = a, (where a is a constant) (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Something that pursues a winding, usually upward, course or that displays a twisting form or shape (noun)
  • A flight manoeuvre in which an aircraft descends describing a helix of comparatively large radius with the angle of attack within the normal flight range (noun)
  • A continuous upward or downward movement in economic activity or prices, caused by interaction between prices, wages, demand, and production (noun)
  • Having the shape of a spiral (adjective)
  • To assume or cause to assume a spiral course or shape (verb)
  • To increase or decrease with steady acceleration (verb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "spiral" in a sentence
  • "In "Time After Time" 2000, which opened the program, Mr. Lerdahl incorporated what he calls a spiral form, in which a simple and stable musical idea is expanded on."
  • "The researchers attribute this to what they call spiral density wave shocks, which can take gas in a circular orbit, compress it to form stars, and cause it to go into a new, elliptical orbit."
  • "That of the right eye which we know as the spiral field, becoming more and more contracted as the perimeter test is continued, is what is found in functional cases; that of the left, however, shows a characteristic loss of the lower part of the field of vision, and agrees with the statement of the man that he can see the upper part of my face but not the lower when he looks at me."