\ ˈspā How to pronounce spay (audio) , nonstandard ˈspād \
spayed\ ˈspād How to pronounce spayed (audio) , nonstandard  ˈspā-​dəd \; spaying\ ˈspā-​iŋ How to pronounce spaying (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 All pets will be ready to go home that same day and come spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Mega pet adoption event headed to downtown Houston next month," 31 Oct. 2019 Four years ago, Garvin started a Facebook group that offers advice on managing dogs that aren't spayed or neutered. Karin Brulliard,, "There’s a growing debate over spaying and neutering dogs," 30 Oct. 2019 Adoption-eligible pets have been spayed or neutered and have been microchipped, officials said, which allowed the group to waive fees. Clarence Williams, Washington Post, "D.C. animal shelter to close for one day after rodent infestation," 29 Oct. 2019 After ensuring all the dogs have been vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered, the MSPCA put the dogs up for adoption at its Boston adoption center in Jamaica Plain and its Cape Cod adoption center in Centerville., "Seventeen chihuahuas were surrendered to the MSPCA from one building in Jamaica Plain Friday, the animal shelter announced Wednesday.," 24 Oct. 2019 If there are other pets in the home, those pets need to be spayed or neutered and up-to-date on all vaccines. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Humane Society wants to find foster homes for 50 dogs this Thanksgiving holiday," 22 Nov. 2019 Simpson was lead author of a recent paper on about 2,800 golden retrievers enrolled in a lifetime study, which found that those spayed or neutered were more likely to be overweight or obese. Karin Brulliard,, "There’s a growing debate over spaying and neutering dogs," 30 Oct. 2019 All adoptable animals are spayed/neutered and have received blood work, vaccinations, intestinal deworming and flea treatments. Megan Becka, cleveland, "Summit County Division of Animal Control to offer discounted pet adoption fees starting Monday," 3 Oct. 2019 They must be leashed, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, friendly and flea- and tick-free. Tatia Woldt, Dallas News, "Dog About Town: Float with your pooch at the water park this weekend," 23 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for spay

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spay

Last Updated

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Spay.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for spay


How to pronounce spay (audio)

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 How to pronounce spay (audio) \
spayed; spaying

Kids Definition of spay

: to remove the ovaries of (a female animal) a spayed cat
\ ˈspā How to pronounce spay (audio) \
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

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