\ 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



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

Other Words from spawn


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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The production, riff, and Jagger's delivery inspired a million bands and basically invented the blueprint for many punk bands that would spawn further down the stream. Tim Moffatt,, 10 June 2022 Humpback whales scoop up thousands of herring that spawn each spring as orca stalk Chinook salmon in the waters that divide the Alexander Archipelago. Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2022 The park is also home to many kinds of mushrooms and salmon that spawn in the river come fall. oregonlive, 5 Dec. 2021 The transition from a partnership structure to a corporate one would spawn a mindset change. Mark A. Cohen, Forbes, 5 July 2022 Oysters spawn once or twice in late summer, and their larvae’s survival and habitat depend on where waters drift them. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 The Michigan Department of Natural Resources also said the small fish spend most of the year in deep, cold waters, migrating to the nearshore areas to spawn and search for food. Layla Mcmurtrie, USA TODAY, 23 June 2022 Unlike salmon that spawn and die, the steelhead trout will fatten up this summer on Lake Erie baitfish and return year after year. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 12 May 2022 After the fish spawn and die, their offspring would be captured and trucked back to the waters below the dam to begin their journey to adulthood in the Pacific Ocean. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Also, the younger Barlow spawn is clearly up to something. Olivia Crandall, Vulture, 19 Sep. 2021 Chinook salmon spawn in the face of rising water temperatures and lower water levels due to climate change, state and federal wildlife officials in Northern California have begun trucking adult fish to cooler waters. Christian Martinezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2022 Depending on the air and water temperatures, the 2014 Bassmaster Open champion at Smith Lake thinks the next few weeks could be more pre-spawn than a spawning situation. Frank Sargeant, al, 28 Mar. 2021 The local season for California halibut, typically from April to October when the fish spend time in the bay to spawn, is unusual this year for a few reasons. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 June 2022 Nonetheless, the trial should tell us plenty about the conspiracy to create the Russia-collusion narrative and its ugly spawn, Crossfire Hurricane. Thomas J. Baker, WSJ, 15 May 2022 Steel poles will be erected near streams where brook trout spawn, and in locations that could disrupt scenic vistas. New York Times, 6 May 2022 The fluidity of Push games is underpinned by how spawn locations are handled. Kris Holt, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 In October of 2020, at the age of 80 and without a job, his Center for Whale Research purchased a 45-acre ranch bordering both sides of the waterway, where the majority of the remaining Chinook Salmon spawn. Emily D'alessandro, CBS News, 19 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of spawn


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spawn


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

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

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spawn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for spawn


\ 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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on spawn

Nglish: Translation of spawn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spawn for Arabic Speakers


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