Advertisement
84 entries found
Search filter: All Results 
spin (v.)
Old English spinnan (transitive) "draw out and twist fibers into thread," strong verb (past tense spann, past participle spunnen), from Proto-Germanic *spenwan (source also of Old Norse and Old Frisian spinna, Danish spinde, Dutch spinnen, Old High German spinnan, German spinnen, Gothic spinnan), from PIE *spen-wo-, suffixed form of root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin."

Intransitive senses of "to form threads from fibrous stuff; to twist, writhe" developed in late Old English. Transitive sense of "cause to turn rapidly" is from 1610s; intransitive meaning "revolve, turn around rapidly" first recorded 1660s. Meaning "attempt to influence reporters' minds after an event has taken place but before they have written about it" seems to have risen to popularity in the 1984 U.S. presidential campaign; as in spin doctor, first attested 1984.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
spin (n.)
1831, "a rapid revolving motion," from spin (v.). Meaning "fairly rapid ride" is from 1856. Sense of "a twisting delivery in throwing or striking a ball" is from 1851. Sense in physics is from 1926. Meaning "act of playing a phonograph record" is from 1977. Meaning "influence imparted by a media source" is from 1984.
Related entries & more 
spun 
past participle of spin (v.).
Related entries & more 
spinner (n.)
early 13c., "spider," agent noun from spin (v.). Meaning "person who spins textile thread" is from late 14c.
Related entries & more 
tailspin (n.)
"downward spiraling dive of an aircraft," 1916, from tail (n.1) + spin (n.). Figurative sense of "state of loss of control" is from 1928.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
spinoff (n.)
also spin-off, 1951 of corporate entities; by 1967 of television shows, from spin + off. As a figurative verbal phrase, by 1957. As an adjective, from 1966.
Related entries & more 
spinning (n.)
late 13c., verbal noun from spin (v.). Spinning wheel attested from c. 1400. Spinning-jenny is from 1783 (see jenny); invented by James Hargreaves c. 1764-7, patented 1770.
Related entries & more 
spanner (n.)
1630s, a tool for winding the spring of a wheel-lock firearm, from German Spanner, from spannen "to join, fasten, extend, connect," from Proto-Germanic *spannan, from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin" (source also of spin (v.)). Meaning "wrench" is from 1790. Figurative phrase spanner in the works attested from 1921 (Wodehouse).
Related entries & more 
span (v.)
Old English spannan "to join, link, clasp, fasten, bind, connect; stretch, span," from Proto-Germanic *spannan (source also of Old Norse spenna, Old Frisian spanna, Middle Dutch spannen, Dutch spannan "stretch, bend, hoist, hitch," Old High German spannan, German spannen "to join, fasten, extend, connect"), from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin" (source also of spin (v.)).

The meaning "to encircle with the hand(s)" is from 1781; in the sense of "to form an arch over (something)" it is first recorded 1630s. Related: Spanned; spanning.
Related entries & more 
spindle (n.)
early 13c., with unetymological -d-, from Old English spinel "small wooden bar used in hand-spinning," properly "an instrument for spinning," from stem of spinnan (see spin (v.)) + instrumental suffix -el (1). Compare handle, thimble, etc.

Related to Old Saxon spinnila, Old Frisian spindel, Old High German spinnila, German Spindel. As a type of something slender, it is attested from 1570s. As with distaff, sometimes formerly used as a metonym for "the female sex," as in Old English spinelhealf "female line of descent," distinguished from sperehealf "male line of descent."
Related entries & more