\ ˈspā How to pronounce spay (audio) , nonstandard ˈspād \
spayed\ ˈspād How to pronounce spay (audio) , nonstandard  ˈspā-​dəd \; spaying\ ˈspā-​iŋ How to pronounce spay (audio) , 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 This is much more common with pet owners who do not spay or neuter all of their pets and have accidental litters that can quickly become out of control; a significant reminder of the importance of fixing your pets. The Arizona Republic, 29 Apr. 2022 Undercover shoppers were quoted fees ranging from $235 to $1,404 to spay a 7-month-old, 25-pound dog. Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2022 In Los Angeles, Wagmor Pets shelter owner Melissa Bacelar learned Tuesday that her group had received $17,000 on Jan. 17 alone—enough money to spay and neuter at least 60 dogs. Ginger Adams Otis, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 The Humane Society of Utah will spay or neuter dogs for $125 and cats for $90 at its clinics in Murray and St. George. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Nov. 2021 The Golden Globe winner, 75, sat down for an interview (and some snuggles) with a shelter cat named Patches for PETA's new campaign, urging pet owners to spay and neuter their animals. Glenn Garner,, 28 Oct. 2021 After being given anesthesia, vet technicians will neuter or spay the cat, provide a rabies vaccine and implant a microchip. Wells Dusenbury,, 8 Oct. 2021 Other shelters have had long-standing overcrowding issues because their states don’t have strong campaigns that encourage pet owners to spay and neuter their animals. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 Many, if not most, dog owners in the United States never confront the question of whether to spay or neuter their pets. Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for spay

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

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Cite this Entry

“Spay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for spay


\ ˈspā How to pronounce spay (audio) \
spayed; spaying

Kids Definition of spay

: to remove the ovaries of (a female animal) a spayed cat


transitive verb
\ ˈspā How to pronounce spay (audio) \
spayed; spaying

Medical Definition of spay

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

More from Merriam-Webster on spay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spay

Nglish: Translation of spay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spay for Arabic Speakers


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