spawn

verb
\ ˈspȯn How to pronounce spawn (audio) , ˈspän\
spawned; spawning; spawns

Definition of spawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to deposit or fertilize spawn
2 : to produce young especially in large numbers

transitive verb

1a : to produce or deposit (eggs) used of an aquatic animal
b : to induce (fish) to spawn
c : to plant with mushroom spawn
2 : bring forth, generate the idea spawned controversy

spawn

noun

Definition of spawn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the eggs of aquatic animals (such as fishes or oysters) that lay many small eggs
2 : product, offspring also : offspring in great numbers
3 : the seed, germ, or source of something
4 : mycelium especially prepared (as in bricks) for propagating mushrooms

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Other Words from spawn

Verb

spawner noun

Examples of spawn in a Sentence

Verb

The health-food craze spawned a multimillion-dollar industry. the incident that spawned a generation of student protests a TV show that spawned a host of imitations

Noun

Pacific salmon return to Alaskan streams to deposit their spawn. sometimes I think those little brats are the spawn of Satan himself
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His father studied salmon migrations in the Russian Arctic and showed him the damage industrial pollution had caused to salmon spawning grounds. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Using fungi, UAA team develops biodegradable insulation for shipping Alaska seafood," 14 July 2019 Delaware River shad fishermen would yank up their nets as thousands of sturgeons swam toward spawning grounds. Fox News, "Sturgeon, America's forgotten dinosaurs, are showing signs of life," 10 July 2019 Delaware River shad fishermen would yank up their nets as thousands of sturgeons swam toward spawning grounds. Ben Finley, Washington Post, "Sturgeon, America’s forgotten dinosaurs, show signs of life," 10 July 2019 Bonneville is the first dam on the Columbia, a demarcation line between fishing zones, and the first artificial barrier for spawning fish. Sallie Tisdale, Harper's magazine, "Catechism of the Waters," 10 June 2019 One of the great spectacles of North American wildlife takes place at Katmai each summer: dozens of brown bears (aka grizzlies) fishing for spawning salmon in the Brooks River. Joe Yogerst, National Geographic, "Top 10 wildlife encounters in parks," 9 Apr. 2019 One is that blueback herring — which had continued to spawn downstream of the dams — have been spotted further upstream now that the dams are gone. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, "For dam on Hanover/Norwell line, the days are numbered," 4 July 2019 One is at a waterfall where fish concentrate before trying to leap past the barrier and hungry bears to reach natal streams to spawn. Dan Joling, Anchorage Daily News, "New bridge in Katmai National Park aimed at limiting bear encounters," 16 June 2019 One is at a waterfall where fish concentrate before trying to leap past the barrier and hungry bears to reach natal streams to spawn. Washington Post, "New Alaska park bridge aimed at limiting bear encounters," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dustin joins forces with reformed high school jock Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), Steve's co-worker at Scoops Ahoy ice cream parlor, Robin (Maya Hawke, spawn of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke), and Lucas' precocious little sister Erica (Priah Ferguson). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Flay your mind: Stranger Things S3 just might be the show’s best season yet," 15 July 2019 And the full moon just past inspired a major spawn in many lakes and rivers around the state, with channel cats, blues and flatheads all moving to shallow water cover to nest. Frank Sargeant, al.com, "Calling all anglers: It’s catfish time in Alabama," 23 June 2019 The Democrats, literal spawns of Satan, want to enslave you and force you to work on their marijuana farms wearing only leather chaps. Rex Huppke, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Trump thinks ‘radical’ Democrats want to destroy our country. That’s so 2017!," 19 June 2019 Best of all, the short-legged contestants, all 100 of them, look like the spawn of Weebles and jelly beans. Washington Post, "Ten under-the-radar games at E3 2019 you need to get excited about right now," 14 June 2019 However, after salmon spawn, weaken and die, bears return in high numbers in September. Dan Joling, Anchorage Daily News, "New bridge in Katmai National Park aimed at limiting bear encounters," 16 June 2019 However, after salmon spawn, weaken and die, bears return in high numbers in September. Washington Post, "New Alaska park bridge aimed at limiting bear encounters," 14 June 2019 In capture-the-flag mode, both sides start in a spawn area and have a flag to defend. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Quake III Arena is the latest game to see AI top humans," 30 May 2019 The first taste of evening was escalope de saumon à l’oseille prepared by Chef César Troisgros, the black bearded and handsome spawn of the culinary dynasty that has dominated French cuisine for nearly a century. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Daniel Bouloud Hosts a Decadent Dinner in Support of Citymeals on Wheels," 12 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spawn.' 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 spawn

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spawn

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French espandre to spread out, shed, scatter, spawn, from Latin expandere to expand

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Learn More about spawn

Dictionary Entries near spawn

spavined

spaw

spawl

spawn

spawneater

spawning ground

spawny

Statistics for spawn

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spawn

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

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More Definitions for spawn

spawn

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to produce or lay eggs in water
: to cause (something) to develop or begin : to produce or create (something)

spawn

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spawn (Entry 2 of 2)

: the eggs of a fish or frog

spawn

verb
\ ˈspȯn How to pronounce spawn (audio) \
spawned; spawning

Kids Definition of spawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to produce or deposit a large number of eggs Salmon swim up rivers to spawn.

spawn

noun

Kids Definition of spawn (Entry 2 of 2)

: the many small eggs of an animal (as a fish or frog) that are deposited in water

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More from Merriam-Webster on spawn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spawn

Spanish Central: Translation of spawn

Nglish: Translation of spawn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spawn for Arabic Speakers

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