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Denotation vs. Connotation

spiral

[spahy-ruh l] /ˈspaɪ rəl/
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 of spiral
1545-1555
1545-55; < Medieval Latin spīrālis, equivalent to Latin spīr(a) coil (< Greek speîra anything coiled, wreathed, or twisted; see spire2) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
spirality
[spahy-ral-i-tee] /spaɪˈræl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spiraling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There would be many anxious eyes watching that spiraling ship as it grew smaller and smaller, climbing upward.

    Lords of the Stratosphere Arthur J. Burks
  • Stryker lumbered past him and took the controls, spiraling the Marco Four down.

    Control Group Roger Dee
  • Dragon and Vampire were spiraling away in opposite directions.

    The Cosmic Computer Henry Beam Piper
  • A little cloud of white smoke was spiraling up from the door of a teepee.

    Bulldog Carney W. A. Fraser
  • I was behind him and picked a German who was spiraling either upward or downward, for a few seconds I was not sure which.

    High Adventure James Norman Hall
British Dictionary definitions for spiraling

spiral

/ˈspaɪərəl/
noun
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 (sense 1)
3.
something that pursues a winding, usually upward, course or that displays a twisting form or shape
4.
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 Compare spin (sense 16)
5.
(economics) a continuous upward or downward movement in economic activity or prices, caused by interaction between prices, wages, demand, and production
adjective
6.
having the shape of a spiral
verb -rals, -ralling, -ralled (US) -rals, -raling, -raled
7.
to assume or cause to assume a spiral course or shape
8.
(intransitive) to increase or decrease with steady acceleration: wages and prices continue to spiral
Derived Forms
spirally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via French from Medieval Latin spīrālis, from Latin spīra a coil; see spire²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spiraling

spiral

adj.

1550s, from Middle French spiral, from Medieval Latin spiralis "winding, coiling" (mid-13c.), from Latin spira "coil," from Greek speira "coil, twist, wreath," from PIE *sper- "to turn, twist." Spiral galaxy first attested 1913.

v.

1726 (implied in spiraled), from spiral (n.). Transferred and figurative sense by 1922. Related: Spiraling.

n.

1650s, from spiral (adj.). U.S. football sense is from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spiraling in Medicine

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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12
16
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