I understand the meaning of the following sentence roughly, but not of 'spinning away'.

The president’s crew has spent a day spinning away undemocratic attempts to prevent thousands of votes from being tallied.

In my dictionary it means 'run' as an intransitive verb phrase like 'Time spins away' but this doesn't make sense in the above because of 'undemocratic attempts' which looks like an object of 'spinning off'. So I disassemble the sentence.

The president's crew has spent a day doing something.

The president's crew was spinning away undemocratic attempts.

If so does 'spin away' mean 'try something urgently' which is not in my any dictionaries?

  • 1
    Look up "to put a spin on something". This should help you understand what the author meant by "spin away".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 6, 2020 at 6:44

2 Answers 2


Spin has a very specific meaning in a political context. Quoting from the wikipedia article I've linked:

In public relations and politics, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through knowingly providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to influence public opinion about some organization or public figure.

This is a very well-known usage, at least in North America. A "spin room", for example, is a place where reporters can talk to political staffers, usually at or just after some public event like a debate. Those staffers are obviously going to provide information or interpretations that are favorable to the politicians they work for. There was also an American TV show that ran for six years called Spin City that was about the public relations department of the (fictional) New York City mayor.

So in your example sentence, "spinning away", means "providing politically-biased explanations or excuses for".


The sentence says because the president's attempts are considered undemocratic, his crew is trying to find excuses for why the president's attempts were actually not undemocratic, how his words were misrepresented etc. But the crew's actions are so far fruitless.

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