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tail +‎ spin


tailspin (plural tailspins)

  1. The rapid, uncontrollable descent of an aircraft in a steep spiral.
    The loss of the third engine threw the plane into a tailspin.
  2. A severe mental or emotional collapse; emotional breakdown.
    Just hours after leaving the institution, she suffered another tailspin.
  3. Any sharp, sustained, often uncontrollable descent or decline.
    The present stock tailspin proves bankruptcy is imminent.
    • 2010 September, Chris Sommers, "Merge", St. Louis magazine, ISSN 1090-5723, volume 16, issue 9, page 77:
      St. Louis, the fourth-largest U.S. city in 1900, is fading fast [] . Jobs, and airline, an educated population—all gone or in a tailspin.


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