Definition of Spiral

1. Noun. A plane curve traced by a point circling about the center but at increasing distances from the center.

Generic synonyms: Curve, Curved Shape

2. Verb. To wind or move in a spiral course. "The young people gyrated on the dance floor"
Exact synonyms: Coil, Gyrate
Generic synonyms: Turn
Derivative terms: Coil, Coil, Gyration

3. Adjective. In the shape of a coil.
Exact synonyms: Coiling, Helical, Spiraling, Turbinate, Volute, Voluted, Whorled
Similar to: Coiled
Derivative terms: Helix, Volute, Volute

4. Noun. A curve that lies on the surface of a cylinder or cone and cuts the element at a constant angle.
Exact synonyms: Helix
Generic synonyms: Curve, Curved Shape
Specialized synonyms: Double Helix

5. Verb. Form a spiral. "The wires spiral around the stick"; "The path spirals up the mountain"
Generic synonyms: Curve, Twist, Wind

6. Noun. A continuously accelerating change in the economy.
Generic synonyms: Economic Process
Specialized synonyms: Inflationary Spiral, Deflationary Spiral

7. Verb. Move in a spiral or zigzag course.
Exact synonyms: Corkscrew
Generic synonyms: Turn

8. Noun. Ornament consisting of a curve on a plane that winds around a center with an increasing distance from the center.
Exact synonyms: Volute
Generic synonyms: Decoration, Ornament, Ornamentation
Derivative terms: Volute

9. Noun. A structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops. "A coil of rope"
Exact synonyms: Coil, Helix, Volute, Whorl
Specialized synonyms: Hank
Generic synonyms: Construction, Structure
Derivative terms: Coil, Coil, Helical, Volute

10. Noun. Flying downward in a helical path with a large radius.
Generic synonyms: Rotary Motion, Rotation

Definition of Spiral

1. a. Winding or circling round a center or pole and gradually receding from it; as, the spiral curve of a watch spring.

2. n. A plane curve, not reëntrant, described by a point, called the generatrix, moving along a straight line according to a mathematical law, while the line is revolving about a fixed point called the pole. Cf. Helix.

Definition of Spiral

1. Noun. (geometry) A curve that is the locus of a point that rotates about a fixed point while continuously increasing its distance from that point. ¹

2. Noun. (informal) A helix. ¹

3. Adjective. Helical, like a spiral ¹

4. Verb. (intransitive) To move along the path of a spiral or helix. ¹

5. Verb. (figuratively intransitive) To increase continually. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Spiral

1. to move like a spiral (a type of plane curve) [v -RALED, -RALING, -RALS or -RALLED, -RALLING, -RALS]

Medical Definition of Spiral

1. Of leaves or floral organs, borne at different levels on the main stem, in an ascending spiral. Compare: cyclic. (09 Oct 1997)

Spiral Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Spiral

spiraeic acid
spiral (current term)
spiral CT
spiral and curved bacteria
spiral arm
spiral arms
spiral bandage
spiral bulbar septum
spiral canal of cochlea
spiral canal of modiolus
spiral cleavage
spiral cochlear ganglion
spiral computed tomography
spiral crest
spiral dance

Literary usage of Spiral

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Machine Tool Operation by Henry D. Burghardt (1922)
"counterbore (cutter head about 1 in. long) cut with a spiral flute is 10 inches. Setting up the machine for milling a spiral involves a knowledge of several ..."

2. The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the by Charles George Herbermann, Edward Aloysius Pace, Condé Bénoist Pallen, Thomas Joseph Shahan, John Joseph Wynne (1913)
"Classifying them into diffused, spiral, and planetary nebulae, Herschel considered them as so many simultaneous exponents of gradual cosmic evolution, ..."

3. United States Supreme Court Reports by Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company, United States Supreme Court (1890)
""What 1 claim as my invention is— terial having tubes, spiral metal springs inclosed by such tubes and not extending to the edges of the covering material, ..."

4. Journal of Morphology by Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology (1897)
"This form of cleavage is not only very rare, but when found it is exceedingly evanescent and very soon gives way to spiral cleavages. ..."

5. Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature (1907)
"Test of relatively large size ; lenticular, spherical, or fusiform ; constructed either on a spiral plan or in concentric layers, the chamber cavities ..."

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