spelling bee


Definition of spelling bee

: a spelling contest in which contestants are eliminated as soon as they misspell a word

Examples of spelling bee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What was the starting point for South Asian-American success at spelling bees? Samarth Bhaskar, New York Times, "Why Have So Many South Asian-Americans Won the Spelling Bee?," 1 June 2018 John Scherer as Vice Principal Douglas Panch, a man on the edge trying to come back from a melt-down at a spelling bee five years ago, is hilarious in that role - and as one of Logainne's Type-A gay dads. Laura Demarco, cleveland.com, ""The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is poignant and F-U-N (review)," 21 Apr. 2018 In a world of spelling bees and academic quiz bowls that test students’ book smarts, one competition focuses on something purely practical — consumer skills. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "In a world of academic tests, these West Chicago High School students focus on ‘life smarts'," 25 Apr. 2018 The Tony Award-wining play with music and lyrics by William Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin presents one high-pressure spelling bee as a microcosm of life: full of drama, love, loss and dreams. Laura Demarco, cleveland.com, ""The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is poignant and F-U-N (review)," 21 Apr. 2018 For the 13th year, the county spelling bee hosted district-level spelling champions in fourth through sixth grades throughout L.A. County, and the children competed for participation certificates, gift bags and trophies for the top three winners. Jeff Landa, latimes.com, "Glendale sixth-grader wins county spelling bee, eyes state title," 3 Apr. 2018 Competitive by nature, Dash began competing in spelling bees after losing his kindergarten bee. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "In unprecedented move, co-champions declared at end of Lake County Spelling Bee," 16 Mar. 2018 Mihika even watched other spelling bees that were held this year to see how difficult the off-list words were. Anthony Clark Carpio, latimes.com, "John Muir Middle School student finishes second in spelling bee," 14 Mar. 2018 Sacramento-area girl reaches sixth round of National Spelling Bee A spelling bee journey: Hard work, nerves and a trip to D.C. Marcos Breton, sacbee, "How do you spell P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E? Some of California's smartest kids find out Wednesday | The Sacramento Bee," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spelling bee.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of spelling bee

1850, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spelling bee

Statistics for spelling bee

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spelling bee

The first known use of spelling bee was in 1850

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spelling bee

spelling bee


English Language Learners Definition of spelling bee

chiefly US : a contest in which contestants spell words aloud and are removed from the contest when they spell a word wrong

More from Merriam-Webster on spelling bee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spelling bee

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spelling bee

Comments on spelling bee

What made you want to look up spelling bee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!