\ 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

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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 What’s worse, the ongoing spate of cyberattacks across the public and private sector, such as the Kaseya and Colonial Pipeline attacks, have been preventable. Yevgeny Dibrov, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Sanford and Son made possible the spate of Black sitcoms that followed, including others from Lear. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2021 But this law is just the latest in a recent spate of harmful legislation taking aim at Texans’ reproductive rights. Nancy Cárdenas Peña,, 3 Sep. 2021 An Ensley man has been sentenced to federal prison in a spate of Birmingham robberies, during one of which he was shot by police. Carol Robinson |, al, 26 Aug. 2021 The arrest is the latest in a spate of detentions as German authorities move against Russian agents., 11 Aug. 2021 At least four people were killed and two others were critically injured in a spate of shootings across Friday night and early Saturday morning, police in Prince George's County, Maryland, said. NBC News, 31 July 2021 In a spate of TV appearances this week, Abbott disregarded both the CDC’s and AAP’s recommendations, stating that decisions on whether children should wear masks were best left to parents. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, 23 July 2021 The Portland shooting -- which police said occurred just after 2 a.m. -- is the latest in a spate of gun violence that has gripped US cities this summer. Chris Boyette, CNN, 17 July 2021

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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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on spate

Nglish: Translation of spate for Spanish Speakers


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