Dictionary

1spell

verb \ˈspel\
spelled \ˈspeld, ˈspelt\ spell·ing

Definition of SPELL

transitive verb
1
:  to read slowly and with difficulty —often used with out
2
:  to find out by study :  come to understand —often used with out <it requires some pains to spell out those decorations — F. J. Mather>
3
a (1) :  to name the letters of in order; also :  to write or print the letters of in order (2) :  to write or print the letters of in a particular way
b :  to make up (a word) <what word do these letters spell>
c :  write 1b <catnip is spelled as one word>
4
:  to add up to :  mean <crop failure was likely to spell stark famine — Stringfellow Barr>
intransitive verb
:  to form words with letters <teach children to spell>; also :  to spell words in a certain way <spells the way he speaks>
ADVERTISEMENT

Origin of SPELL

Middle English, to mean, signify, read by spelling out letters, from Anglo-French espeleir, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English spellian to relate, spell talk
First Known Use: 14th century

2spell

noun

Definition of SPELL

1
a :  a spoken word or form of words held to have magic power
b :  a state of enchantment
2
:  a strong compelling influence or attraction

Origin of SPELL

Middle English, talk, tale, from Old English; akin to Old High German spel talk, tale
First Known Use: 1579

3spell

transitive verb \ˈspel\
spelled \ˈspeld\ spell·ing

Definition of SPELL

:  to put under a spell

First Known Use of SPELL

circa 1623

4spell

noun

Definition of SPELL

1
a archaic :  a shift of workers
b :  one's turn at work
2
a :  a period spent in a job or occupation
b chiefly Australian :  a period of rest from work, activity, or use
3
a :  an indeterminate period of time <waited a spell before advancing>; also :  a continuous period of time <did a spell in prison>
b :  a stretch of a specified type of weather
4
:  a period of bodily or mental distress or disorder <a spell of coughing> <fainting spells>

Origin of SPELL

probably alteration of Middle English spale substitute, from Old English spala
First Known Use: 1593

5spell

verb
spelled \ˈspeld\ spell·ing

Definition of SPELL

transitive verb
1
:  to take the place of for a time :  relieve <we spell each other every two hours>
2
:  rest
intransitive verb
1
:  to work in turns
2
chiefly Australian :  to rest from an activity for a time

Origin of SPELL

Middle English spelen, from Old English spelian; akin to Old English spala substitute
First Known Use: 1595
SPELLED Defined for Kids

1spell

verb \ˈspel\
spelledspell·ing

Definition of SPELL for Kids

1
:  to name, write, or print in order the letters of a word
2
:  to make up the letters of <C-A-T spells the word “cat.”>
3
:  to have (such) a spelling <My name is Lynne spelled with an E.>
4
:  to amount to :  mean <Another drought would spell famine.>

2spell

noun

Definition of SPELL for Kids

1
:  a spoken word or group of words believed to have magic power :  charm
2
:  a very strong influence <Their talking broke the music's spell.>

3spell

noun

Definition of SPELL for Kids

1
:  a short period of time <Come and sit a spell.>
2
:  a stretch of a specified kind of weather <a dry spell> <a warm spell>
3
:  a period of bodily or mental distress or disorder <fainting spells>
4
:  a person's turn at work or duty
5
:  a period spent in a job or occupation <After a spell of teaching, she went back to sales.>

4spell

verb
spelledspelling

Definition of SPELL for Kids

:  to take the place of for a time :  relieve <spell a person at shoveling> <Grandma … took the paddle out of her hand. “I'll spell you, Wilma.” — Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder>
Medical Dictionary

spell

noun \ˈspel\

Medical Definition of SPELL

:  a period of bodily or mental distress or disorder <a spell of coughing> <fainting spells>

Browse

3 ENTRIES FOUND:
Next Word in the Dictionary: spellablePrevious Word in the Dictionary: spelkAll Words Near: spell
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears