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


The woman ancestor kitchen-gardened, spun, wove, and nourished the poultry.

The man took her by the shoulder, laughing still, and spun her up standing.

It's the stuff that a thousand summer-girl stories have been spun out of.

Lloyd clapped her hands and spun around the room like a top.

Again he yelled, and as he did so, he struck his heels upon the floor and spun around.

Suddenly she dropped the brush; it rattled and spun on the polished floor.

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

The Mercutian spun half around with the force of the tearing bullet.

Besides this, a great many other descriptions are spun there.

It may be sold by the spinner to the weaver or it may be woven in the mill in which it is spun.


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.