Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


In an instant horse and rider were spinning around like a top.

It was the little woman as had the secret, and she was always a spinning at her wheel.

Turkey's mother was sitting near the little window, spinning.

She loved to spin, and no spider ever spun so fine a thread as she on her spinning wheel.

And over all was a constant hum, a crackling, a whining of spinning parts.

But what were the words he was singing, this yarn he was spinning in his song?

When there he married the daughter of the rich owner of a spinning factory at Arras.

"I am spinning, my pretty child," said the old woman, who did not know who she was.

While the men were at work in the fields, the women were spinning and weaving.

Here then was the birth of the spinning industry in the United States.


Old English spinnan "draw out and twist fibers into thread," from Proto-Germanic *spenwanan (cf. Old Norse and Old Frisian spinna, Danish spinde, Dutch spinnen, Old High German spinnan, German spinnen, Gothic spinnan), from PIE *(s)pen- "stretch" (cf. Armenian henum "I weave;" Greek patos "garment, literally "that which is spun;" Lithuanian pinu "I plait, braid," spandau "I spin;" Middle Welsh cy-ffiniden "spider;" see span (v.)).

Sense of "to cause to turn rapidly" is from 1610s; 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; e.g. spin doctor, first attested 1984. Spinning wheel is attested from c.1400; spinning-jenny is from 1783 (see jenny); invented by James Hargreaves c.1764-7, patented 1770.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.