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winding in a continuous and gradually widening (or tightening) curve, either around a central point on a flat plane or about an axis so as to form a cone:a spiral pattern winding in a continuous curve of constant diameter about a central axis, as though along a cylinder; helical. (of a staircase) constantly turning in one direction as it rises, around a solid or open center. Medicine (of a fracture) curving around a long bone lengthwise.
1a spiral curve, shape, or pattern:he spotted a spiral of smoke 2a progressive rise or fall of prices, wages, etc., each responding to an upward or downward stimulus provided by a previous one:an inflationary spiral a process of deterioration through the continuous increase or decrease of a specified feature:a downward spiral of sex and drink 3 Football a pass or kick that moves smoothly through the air while spinning on its long axis.
verb (spirals, spiraling, spiraled Footballspirals, spiralling, spiralled)
1 [no object] move in a spiral course:a wisp of smoke spiraled up from the trees [with object] cause to have a spiral shape or follow a spiral course:spiral the bandage around the injured limb 2 [no object] show a continuous and dramatic increase:inflation continued to spiral (as adjective spiraling)he needed to relax after the spiraling tensions of the day
) decrease or deteriorate continuously:he expects the figures to spiral down further