spiral definition, spiral meaning | English dictionary

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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       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       16  
5      (Economics)   a continuous upward or downward movement in economic activity or prices, caused by interaction between prices, wages, demand, and production  
6    having the shape of a spiral  
      vb   , -rals, -ralling, -ralled  
     (U.S.)   , -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 spiralis, from Latin spira a coil; see spire2)  
  spirally      adv  

inflationary spiral  
      n   the situation in which price and income increases may each induce further rises in the other  
spiral binding  
      n     (Bookbinding)   a method of securing the pages of a publication by passing a coil of wire through small holes punched at the back edge of the covers and individual pages  
spiral galaxy  
      n   a galaxy consisting of an ellipsoidal nucleus of old stars from opposite sides of which arms, containing younger stars, spiral outwards around the nucleus. In a barred spiral the arms originate at the ends of a bar-shaped nucleus  
spiral of Archimedes  
      n     (Maths)   a spiral having the equation r = aθ, where a is a constant. It is the locus of a point moving to or from the origin at a constant speed along a line rotating around that origin at a constant speed  
spiral staircase  
      n   a staircase constructed around a central axis  
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus  


      adj   circular, cochlear, cochleate     (Biology)   coiled, corkscrew, helical, scrolled, voluted, whorled, winding  
      n   coil, corkscrew, curlicue, gyre     (literary)   helix, screw, volute, whorl  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

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