noun Also tail spin.

  1. spin(def 23).
  2. a sudden and helpless collapse into failure, confusion, or the like.

verb (used without object), tail·spinned, tail·spin·ning.

  1. to take or experience a sudden and dramatic downturn: After the mill closes, the local economy may tailspin.


  1. aeronautics another name for spin (def. 16)
  2. informal a state of confusion or panic

n.“downward spiraling dive of an aircraft,” 1916, from tail (n.1) + spin (n.). Figurative sense of “state of loss of control” is from 1928. see go into a tailspin.

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