\ ˈspāt How to pronounce spate (audio) \

Definition of spate

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 The spate of affordable projects arrives as the Mission has seen some market-rate projects languish. J.k. Dineen,, "Can the Mission scale back gentrification with influx of affordable homes?," 27 Dec. 2019 That has led to a spate of operational initiatives under different names that have shifted multiple times since 2014. Washington Post, "Federal jury orders Cox Communications to pay $1 billion in music piracy case," 21 Dec. 2019 PhRMA has declined to comment on the record about the spate of lawsuits against Purdue. Nicholas Florko, STAT, "Purdue, maker of OxyContin, quietly splits ways with PhRMA as it pulls back from lobbying," 17 Dec. 2019 Lawmakers have fiercely debated approving that funding for years amid a spate of high-profile mass shootings in public places. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump signs $1.4 trillion bill to avoid government shutdown, raise minimum age for tobacco," 21 Dec. 2019 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iranian proxy groups in Iraq for instigating a spate of rocket attacks targeting military bases with U.S. personnel. Washington Post, "Supporters of Iran-backed Iraqi group protest US sanctions," 14 Dec. 2019 No one could blame him if there was residual caution after a spate of core injuries derailed his 2018-19 season. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets Journal: Denver needs old Gary Harris for offense to get right," 13 Dec. 2019 A decade ago, Russia cut off gas supplies in the middle of winter for three weeks, triggering a spate of shortages across Europe. NBC News, "Proposed U.S. sanctions on Russian gas pipeline would help Ukraine in stand-off with Moscow," 13 Dec. 2019 Sullivan’s death is the latest among a spate of Houston-area law enforcement killings in recent months. Nick Powell, Houston Chronicle, "Manhunt nets suspect in Nassau Bay police sergeant’s death; mother and her boyfriend also charged," 13 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for spate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spate

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for spate


How to pronounce spate (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on spate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spate

Spanish Central: Translation of spate

Nglish: Translation of spate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on spate

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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