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Meaning of spiral

spi•ral

Pronunciation: (spī'rul), [key]
— n., adj., v., -raled, -ral•ing -ralled, -ral•ling.
—n.
  1. a plane curve generated by a point moving around a fixed point while constantly receding from or approaching it.
  2. a helix.
  3. a single circle or ring of a spiral or helical curve or object.
  4. a spiral or helical object, formation, or form.
  5. a maneuver in which an airplane descends in a helix of small pitch and large radius, with the angle of attack within that of the normal flight range.
  6. a type of kick or pass in which the ball turns on its longer axis as it flies through the air.
  7. a continuous increase in costs, wages, prices, etc.or a decrease in costs, wages, prices, etc.
—adj.
  1. running continuously around a fixed point or center while constantly receding from or approaching it; coiling in a single plane: a spiral curve.
  2. coiling around a fixed line or axis in a constantly changing series of planes; helical.
  3. of or of the nature of a spire or coil.
  4. bound with a spiral binding; spiral-bound: a spiral notebook.
—v.i.
  1. to take a spiral form or course.
  2. to advance or increase steadily; rise: Costs have been spiraling all year.
  3. to fly an airplane through a spiral course.
—v.t.
  1. to cause to take a spiral form or course.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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