Definition for SPIN

SPIN, v.t. [pret. and pp. spun. Span is not used. Sax. spinnan; Goth. spinnan; D. and G. spinnen; Dan. spinder; Sw. spinna. If the sense is to draw out or extend, this coincides in origin with span.]

  1. To draw out and twist into threads, either by the hand or machinery; as, to spin wool, cotton or flax; to spin goats' hair. All the yarn which Penelope spun in Ulysses' absence, did but fill Ithaca with moths. – Shak.
  2. To draw out tediously; to form by a slow process or by degrees; with out; as, to spin out large volumes on a subject.
  3. To extend to a great length; as, to spin out a subject.
  4. To draw out; to protract; to spend by delays; as, to spin out the day in idleness. By one delay after another, they spin out their whole lives. – L'Estrange.
  5. To whirl with a thread; to turn or cause to whirl; as, to spin a top.
  6. To draw out from the stomach in a filament; as, a spider spins a web. To spin hay, in military language, is to twist it into ropes for convenient carriage on an expedition.

Return to page 220 of the letter “S”.