verb \ˈspn, ˈspän\

: to produce or lay eggs in water

: to cause (something) to develop or begin : to produce or create (something)

Full Definition of SPAWN

intransitive verb
:  to deposit or fertilize spawn
:  to produce young especially in large numbers
transitive verb
a :  to produce or deposit (eggs) —used of an aquatic animal
b :  to induce (fish) to spawn
c :  to plant with mushroom spawn
:  bring forth, generate <the idea spawned controversy>
spawn·er noun

Examples of SPAWN

  1. The health-food craze spawned a multimillion-dollar industry.
  2. the incident that spawned a generation of student protests
  3. a TV show that spawned a host of imitations

Origin of SPAWN

Middle English, from Anglo-French espandre to spread out, shed, scatter, spawn, from Latin expandere to expand
First Known Use: 15th century



: the eggs of a fish or frog

Full Definition of SPAWN

:  the eggs of aquatic animals (as fishes or oysters) that lay many small eggs
:  product, offspring; also :  offspring in great numbers
:  the seed, germ, or source of something
:  mycelium especially prepared (as in bricks) for propagating mushrooms

Examples of SPAWN

  1. Pacific salmon return to Alaskan streams to deposit their spawn.
  2. <sometimes I think those little brats are the spawn of Satan himself>

First Known Use of SPAWN

15th century

Other Zoology Terms

altruism, integument


Next Word in the Dictionary: spawneater
Previous Word in the Dictionary: spawl ()
All Words Near: spawn

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up spawn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More