adjective spav·ined \ˈspa-vənd\

Definition of spavined

  1. 1 :  affected with spavin

  2. 2 :  old and decrepit :  over-the-hill

spavined was our Word of the Day on 08/17/2008. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

His horse [is] . . . troubled with the lampas, infected with the fashions, full of windgalls, sped with spavins. . . . Petruchio's poor, decrepit horse in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is beset by just about every known equine malady, including a kind of swelling in the mouth (lampas), skin lesions (fashions), tumors on his fetlocks (windgalls), and bony enlargements on his hocks (spavins). The spavins alone can be enough to render a horse lame and useless. In the 17th century, "spavined" horses brought to mind other things that are obsolete, out-of-date, or long past their prime, and we began using the adjective figuratively. "Spavined" still serves a purpose, despite its age. It originated in Middle English as "spaveyned" and can be traced to the Middle French word for "spavin," which was "espavain."

15th Century

First Known Use of spavined

15th century

Seen and Heard

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a trip made at another's expense

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