spate

noun
\ ˈspāt How to pronounce spate (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Calls for women’s submission are as old as the Bible, but preaching the practice became a profitable endeavor for a spate of ministries beginning in the 1970s. Sarah Stankorb, Marie Claire, "The Daughters' Great Escape," 15 June 2018 But those major events from Mother Nature in 2017 don’t account for the spate of sinkholes this year already. Chris Bodenner, Smithsonian, "The Science Behind Florida’s Sinkhole Epidemic," 30 Mar. 2011 No one else in the royal household fell ill with typhoid fever around this time, and though England had been wracked by a spate of the disease just a few years prior to Albert's death, in December of 1861 there were relatively few cases reported. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How Did Queen Victoria's Husband Prince Albert Die?," 4 Mar. 2019 There’s Tinder, of course, and a spate of other apps like Bumble, Hinge, and OkCupid, as well as members-only platforms like Raya and the League. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "“For conservatives, by conservatives”: the rise of right-wing dating apps," 26 Dec. 2018 Despite this spate of announcements, the Bay Area still reigns supreme. Rani Molla, Recode, "Amazon, Apple and others are expanding out of major tech cities — but mostly to other major tech cities," 20 Dec. 2018 Some gestures don't rise to letting a complete stranger move in but are no less significant, and have come amid a spate of racist attacks against blacks and non-Italians. Simone Somekh, Fox News, "Opening door to migrants, some Italians defy government line," 22 Aug. 2018 Leaked documents compiled by immigration department workers and obtained by the ABC reveal a spate of self-harm incidents on the island. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "First asylum seeker boat in 4 years reaches Australia," 27 Aug. 2018 Leaked documents compiled by immigration department workers and obtained by the ABC reveal a spate of self-harm incidents on the island. Rod Mcguirk, Fox News, "First asylum seeker boat in 4 years reaches Australia," 27 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of spate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spate

Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spate

Dictionary Entries near spate

Spatangina

Spatangus

spatchcock

spate

spatfall

spath

spatha

Statistics for spate

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spate

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spate

spate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spate

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on spate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!