\ ˈspēn How to pronounce spean (audio) \
speaned; speaning; speans

Definition of spean

transitive verb

chiefly Scotland
: wean

First Known Use of spean

1595, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spean

Middle Scots spen, speane, probably going back to Old English *spennan, *spenian, going back to Germanic *spanjan- or *spanjōjan- (whence also Middle Dutch spenen "to wean," Middle Low German spenen, spennen, Middle High German spenen), verbal derivatives from the base of *spanōn-, *spanjōn- "teat, nipple" (whence Old English spane, spanu "teat," Middle Dutch spene, Middle Low German spene, spone, Old High German spunna, Old Norse speni), akin to Lithuanian spenỹs "nipple," Old Irish sine, probably altered from Indo-European *psten- "breast," whence Sanskrit stana- "breast, nipple," Avestan fštāna-, Greek stḗnion "breast"

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The first known use of spean was in 1595

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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