Dictionary.com Unabridged

spiral

[spahy-ruhl]
noun
1.
Geometry. a plane curve generated by a point moving around a fixed point while constantly receding from or approaching it.
2.
a helix.
3.
a single circle or ring of a spiral or helical curve or object.
4.
a spiral or helical object, formation, or form.
5.
Aeronautics. a maneuver in which an airplane descends in a helix of small pitch and large radius, with the angle of attack within that of the normal flight range.
6.
Football. a type of kick or pass in which the ball turns on its longer axis as it flies through the air.
7.
Economics. a continuous increase in costs, wages, prices, etc. (inflationary spiral) or a decrease in costs, wages, prices, etc. (deflationary spiral)
adjective
8.
running continuously around a fixed point or center while constantly receding from or approaching it; coiling in a single plane: a spiral curve.
9.
coiling around a fixed line or axis in a constantly changing series of planes; helical.
10.
of or of the nature of a spire or coil.
11.
bound with a spiral binding; spiral-bound: a spiral notebook.
verb (used without object), spiraled, spiraling or (especially British) spiralled, spiralling.
12.
to take a spiral form or course.
13.
to advance or increase steadily; rise: Costs have been spiraling all year.
14.
Aeronautics. to fly an airplane through a spiral course.
verb (used with object), spiraled, spiraling or (especially British) spiralled, spiralling.
15.
to cause to take a spiral form or course.

Origin:
1545–55; < Medieval Latin spīrālis, equivalent to Latin spīr(a) coil (< Greek speîra anything coiled, wreathed, or twisted; see spire2) + -ālis -al1

spirality [spahy-ral-i-tee] , noun
spirally, adverb
multispiral, adjective
nonspiral, adjective, noun
subspiral, adjective
subspirally, adverb
unspiral, adjective
unspirally, adverb
unspiraled, adjective
unspiralled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
inflationary spiral
 
n
the situation in which price and income increases may each induce further rises in the other

spiral (ˈspaɪərəl)
 
n
1.  geometry 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)
2.  another name for helix
3.  something that pursues a winding, usually upward, course or that displays a twisting form or shape
4.  Compare spin 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
5.  economics a continuous upward or downward movement in economic activity or prices, caused by interaction between prices, wages, demand, and production
 
adj
6.  having the shape of a spiral
 
vb , -rals, -ralling, -ralled, -rals, -raling, -raled
7.  to assume or cause to assume a spiral course or shape
8.  (intr) to increase or decrease with steady acceleration: wages and prices continue to spiral
 
[C16: via French from Medieval Latin spīrālis, from Latin spīra a coil; see spire²]
 
'spirally
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

spiral
1551, from M.Fr. spiral, from M.L. spiralis "winding, coiling" (1255), from L. spira "coil," from Gk. speira "coil, twist, wreath," from PIE *sper- "to turn, twist." The verb is attested from 1834; the fig. sense is from 1922. The noun is first recorded 1656; U.S. football sense is from 1896. Spiral
galaxy first attested 1913.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

spiral spi·ral (spī'rəl)
adj.
Coiling or developing around an axis in a constantly changing series of planes; helical. n.
A structure in the shape of a coil. v. spi·raled or spi·ralled, spi·ral·ing or spi·ral·ling, spi·rals or spi·rals
To take the form or course of a spiral.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
If workers press for higher wages to compensate for higher energy bills, an inflationary spiral can ensue.
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