\ 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 biggest film revival of the year was the spate of outdoor and drive-in style screenings to allow for physical distancing. Will Coviello,, "Silver linings from a tough year for movie lovers," 28 Dec. 2020 But perhaps the worst spate of stabbings occurred in 2010, which included a period of three consecutive days in which attackers targeted schools. Nectar Gan, CNN, "Seven killed in knife attack in northeast China," 27 Dec. 2020 Dietrich, an active Nextdoor member and the neighbor who recently founded the volunteer group, said notifying residents about the spate of break-ins is the first priority. Megan Cassidy,, "‘Cops can’t do this by themselves’: With home burglaries surging, S.F. neighbors band together," 24 Dec. 2020 And although the United States has yet to grant regulatory approval to any of the vaccine candidates, Donald Trump was quick to claim the spate of positive vaccine news as his own. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, "Vaccine Nationalism Is Doomed to Fail," 8 Dec. 2020 The defense and military officials insist the spate of positives has not had any operational impact on the ship or the Navy as a whole. NBC News, "Nearly one out of four sailors from the Navy destroyer USS Michael Murphy test positive for Covid," 19 Nov. 2020 But a spokesman pointed to new precautions that were put into place after the spate of covid-19 cases in April temporarily shut down the Waterloo plant. Washington Post, "Tyson Foods managers had a ‘winner-take-all’ bet on how many workers would get covid-19, lawsuit alleges," 19 Nov. 2020 While the current spate of Trump campaign lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania likely won't result in a Supreme Court showdown like Bush v. Gore, a more unlikely scenario remains a distant possibility. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Will the Supreme Court ride to Donald Trump's rescue? Don't count on it.," 5 Nov. 2020 The current spate of attacks in Israel began during the festival of Sukkot on Oct. 4, when Channel 13 reporter Yossi Eli was attacked by a mob in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood. Sam Sokol,, "In Israel, some journalists are attacked covering haredi Orthodox communities," 28 Oct. 2020

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

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spate

Nglish: Translation of spate for Spanish Speakers

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