\ 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 Just spaying and neutering the adoptable animals costs more than $5,000. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Church members are sharing with others: Whit & Whimsey," 1 Nov. 2019 But that didn’t stop the surgeons from spaying and neutering a litter of kittens. Steve Rubenstein,, "As restorations begin, businesses from Lafayette to Sausalito struggle in dark," 11 Oct. 2019 The nonprofit will be paying at least $7,500, which does not include the shots, spaying and neutering of the huskies, which will cost between $3,600 to $4,000. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Huskies rescued from nightmarish conditions in Michigan need medical help," 4 Oct. 2019 Team members knock on doors and ask residents questions about their pets, including whether they’ve been spayed or neutered, and leave information about the program’s services. Andrea Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Saving pets: Program lends hand to low-income animal owners," 17 Sep. 2019 By the end of 2019, Little said the organization will have altered — think spayed and neutered — 50,000 cats from the Louisville area, at an average of about 75 a week. Laurel Deppen, The Courier-Journal, "Trap-neuter-return program helps Alley Cat Advocates ease Louisville's stray issue," 4 June 2019 Each pet was spayed or neutered and came with age-appropriate vaccines and a complimentary follow-up vet visit at a VCA clinic. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Grand Opera’s ‘Pupperas’ brings together drinks, dogs, opera," 12 Sep. 2019 Dogs must have proof of vaccination, be spayed or neutered, and be at least 4 months old. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "This Louisville bar is combining two of your favorite things: dogs and beer," 22 July 2019 Programs to spay/neuter and release community cats are one factor. Alicia Parlapiano, New York Times, "Why Euthanasia Rates at Animal Shelters Have Plummeted," 3 Sep. 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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Statistics for spay

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for spay

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

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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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