(redirected from spirals)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to spirals: Fibonacci

death spiral

1. In aviation, a dangerous downward cork-screw maneuver of a disabled or uncontrollable aircraft that often leads to a crash. Also called a "spiral dive." The pilot, unaware of the plane's slight roll in the cloud bank, only realized he was in a death spiral when it was too late to overcome the dive.
2. In pairs figure skating, a maneuver in which the male partner, in a pivot position, spins the female partner with one hand in a wide circle with her body nearly parallel to the ground. The two pulled off an amazing death spiral—her head looked as though it were about to touch the ice at one point!
3. In insurance (especially health insurance), a plan in which costs rapidly increase over time due to policyholders with a lower risk opting out of the policy, forcing those dependent on it to pay higher premiums, thus prompting more low-risk policy holders to opt out and further drive up costs, and so on. I purchased my health insurance plan as a means to afford my medicine, but it turned into a death spiral when employers started offering cheaper, barebones plans that the majority of people were quick to switch to.
4. In finance, a loan given by investors to a company in exchange for convertible bonds, which can then be converted to common stock at prices lower than the market value, causing overall share prices to fall and more bondholders to trade their stock for equity, ultimately leading to a collapse of the company's stock worth altogether. To keep his company afloat, Tom was forced to take a loan that ultimately proved a death spiral, leading him to close the business anyway.
5. Any situation in which a series of events or actions, especially as a consequence of one another, ultimately lead to a point of ruin, failure, or destruction. With the recent allegations of drug abuse, corruption charges, and controversial remarks about minorities, the long-time senator now seems locked into an irreversible death spiral.
See also: death, spiral

spiral down

to descend in a spiral path. The ancient trail spiraled down the mountain peak. A path spiraled down and at the bottom was a small refreshment stand.
See also: down, spiral

spiral up

to ascend in a spiral path. The smoke spiraled up to the sky. The trail spiraled up the slope to the top.
See also: spiral, up
References in periodicals archive ?
After the concept is developed, the PM wants to select a developer who will be the best choice for delivering the objective capability after an evolutionary acquisition of numerous spirals.
edu/phyllo/expo), that depicts with rare beauty and clarity the geometry and biology of plant spiral formation.
Both spirals and superelevation were calculated carefully for specific situations.
In an attempt to encourage them to be more decorative in their work, I designed this lesson around spiral lines.
2(a) has four spirals and each spiral travels a full 360 [degrees] .
The company produces a variety of hearth baked rolls and French breads, as well as prespreaded sliced breads, which was the reason for installing the CRYOLINE XF spiral freezer.
Now, astronomers have found that Centaurus A, which is actually an elliptical galaxy, is hiding a gassy spiral in its centre.
Prusinkiewicz has worked with Kuhlemeier and his team to create a computer model that demonstrates how the hormone's actions can create most common growth patterns in plants, including spirals.
When you reach the center of the spiral you pause, face to face with a soft-eyed person who gently reminds you to set an intention for healing.
And now it will be increasing production still further after snapping up two hi-tech twin drum spiral freezers from freezing and chilling systems specialist Eurotek.
Let me give you an example: If the Spirals had been Archimedean spirals, where the spiral turns at a consistent rate outward from its center, they'd be uninteresting, experientially, in terms of both space and time; they'd be knowable and predictable.
Further, most spirals in Nature are not fiat, like a line drawn on paper; they are solid and fill space.
Comparison of the computerized analysis of spirals drawn before and after therapy can reliably depict patient response to treatment," Pullman explains.
The LNA layout was simulated using the new design kit spirals and full layout extraction was performed.