\ ˈspā , nonstandard ˈspād\
spayed\ ˈspād , nonstandard  ˈspā-​dəd \; spaying\ ˈspā-​iŋ , nonstandard  ˈspā-​diŋ \

Definition of spay

transitive verb

: to remove the ovaries and uterus of (a female animal)

Examples of spay in a Sentence

Our cat has been spayed.

Recent Examples on the Web

The proposal details plans to spay and/or neuter current cats while prohibiting new ones, Environment Southland biosecurity operations manager Ali Meade told the Daily Times. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Domestic cats reportedly facing potential ban in New Zealand town," 30 Aug. 2018 Willey said some people are too poor to have their dogs spayed or neutered, which contributes to the problem. Michael Sangiacomo,, "Pit bulls proliferate at city shelter, but most get homes (photos)," 1 Feb. 2018 Daous often joined Tonia Dardar on night trips to catch the felines and have them spayed or neutered, Bailey said. Michelle Hunter,, "Families try to sort fact from rumor after Jefferson Parish triple homicide," 22 May 2018 As both shelters ask for adoptions, Bradshaw's top priority is the source of problem — their foremost request is that owners spay or neuter their pets. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "Two Sacramento-area animal shelters waive adoption fees as they fill up with pets," 25 June 2018 As a long term solution, spaying or neutering all strays before re-releasing them into the streets would be ideal. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "World Cup 2018 host cities in Russia allegedly killing off stray dogs ahead of tournament," 13 June 2018 Adoption applications are now open for the 13 puppies, who are reportedly up to date on their vaccines and all will be spayed or neutered. Saryn Chorney,, "13 Homeless, Radiation-Safe Puppies Born in Chernobyl Rescued and Now Available for Adoption in U.S.," 30 May 2018 Adoption applications are now open for the 13 puppies, who are reportedly up to date on their vaccines and all will be spayed or neutered. Saryn Chorney, ajc, "13 homeless, radiation-safe puppies born in Chernobyl rescued and now available for adoption in U.S.," 30 May 2018 Additionally, pet owners can help prevent mammary tumors by considering spaying and neutering their dog. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "Pet Talk: Mammary tumors in dogs," 20 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spay

Middle English, from Anglo-French espeer to pierce, castrate, from espee sword, from Latin spatha sword — more at spade

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Dictionary Entries near spay


spawning ground






Statistics for spay

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Time Traveler for spay

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

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More Definitions for spay



English Language Learners Definition of spay

: to remove the sex organs of (a female animal) : to make (a female animal) unable to have babies


\ ˈspā \
spayed; spaying

Kids Definition of spay

: to remove the ovaries of (a female animal) a spayed cat
\ ˈspā \
spayed; spaying

Medical Definition of spay

: to remove the ovaries and uterus of (a female animal)

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More from Merriam-Webster on spay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spay

Spanish Central: Translation of spay

Nglish: Translation of spay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spay for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spay

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