\ 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

The spate of violence started at the Valero gas station on Scott and Griggs streets, where four men allegedly stole a pickup truck while its owner was about the fill up the tank. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "HPD officer recovering after being shot; suspect dead," 13 Sep. 2019 There’s a sentiment among some politically bent if racially biased yahoos that this spate is symptomatic of an uncaring, anti-cop administration that recently nixed a budget request to hire five more police officers. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: Easy to say, but don’t give up, St. Paul, to recent spate of killings," 12 Sep. 2019 But as school began around the country and the spate of illnesses sparked fear nationwide, calls for the F.D.A. to take stronger action intensified. Sheila Kaplan, New York Times, "Trump Administration Plans to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes," 11 Sep. 2019 But that wasn’t enough to stem the spate of closures. Trisha Thadani,, "SF Mayor, supes announce plan to help save residential treatment homes for city’s vulnerable," 9 Sep. 2019 The new spate of violence has deepened that concern, and appeared to have prompted Ghani’s unexpected plans to visit Washington. Washington Post, "Afghanistan’s Ghani to travel to Washington as peace deal limps ahead and violence surges," 7 Sep. 2019 The federal government had previously said that the recent spate of illnesses could come from a harmful product. Laura Hancock,, "Ohio confirms 3 severe lung illness cases after vaping, 11 more under investigation," 4 Sep. 2019 The spate of House Republican retirements puts them ahead of their pace during the 2018 election cycle, when 34 did not run for re-election. CBS News, "Veteran Wisconsin GOP Representative Jim Sensenbrenner says he's retiring," 4 Sep. 2019 Before the spate of rainouts, Stewart was on pace to compete nearly 100 times this year, at or near his all-time high. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Busy Tony Stewart has a pair of Wisconsin races on his schedule this weekend," 26 Aug. 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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Statistics for spate

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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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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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

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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