The word "spiral" has multiple meanings depending on context. In geometry, it is a curve acting as the focus of a point rotating around a fixed point that continuously extends from that point. Informally, it can be used to refer to a helix. It is also used to refer to a high-momentum, self-sustaining process that can't be stopped or accelerated instantly. Generally used as a noun, the word is derived from the the Middle French word spirale, itself derived from the Medieval Latin spiralis, in turn derived from the Latin spira spaɪɹəl.
See Special:Whatlinkshere/Etymology:Spiral for a list of articles using this term.