\ˈspāt \

Definition of spate 

1 : freshet, flood

2a : a large number or amount a spate of books on gardening

b : a sudden or strong outburst : rush a spate of anger

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Examples of spate in a Sentence

A spate of books on the subject have come out recently. There was a spate of corporate mergers in the 1980s.

Recent Examples on the Web

Glamour's staff got down to testing a spate of chic, thoughtful formulas, and came away impressed with the below. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "11 Non-Toxic Nail Polishes That Don’t Chip Immediately," 10 Oct. 2018 The incident is the latest in a spate of drownings, accompanying the state-wide heat wave. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Dearborn man drowns in Silver Lake in west Michigan," 2 July 2018 Image When Congress decided not to take significant action after a spate of mass shootings this year and last, some big banks opted to take matters into their own hands by restricting financing for gun sellers. New York Times, "Banks Tried to Curb Gun Sales. Now Republicans Are Trying to Stop Them.," 25 May 2018 The recent spate of killings has occurred across a wide swath of neighborhoods. Christina Boyle,, "London stabbing and shooting deaths put city on par with New York for homicide," 4 Apr. 2018 The presence of an explosive device at the subway station raised questions about security and crime in Sweden, where a spate of explosions and fatal attacks has occurred in the past year. André Anwar, USA TODAY, "Stockholm subway station blast leaves 1 dead, 1 injured," 7 Jan. 2018 From that, there's been a spate of recent duets albums by living stars Barbra Streisand and Barry Manilow crooning with the late Presley, Judy Garland and John Denver. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "He's been dead for 30 years. But he's coming in concert to South Florida," 10 July 2018 And there has been a spate of them over the past month. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Wildlife is wild, so admire from afar," 13 June 2018 Yet after a spate of stunning results and big-name departures who were dispatched from Russia, the championship has, with eight teams left and the quarterfinals imminent, opened up significantly. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "The chances a long-suffering nation wins the World Cup is greater than normal," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spate

Middle English

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Statistics for spate

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for spate

The first known use of spate was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of spate

: a large number of things that appear or happen in a short period of time

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Comments on spate

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playful or foolish behavior

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