\ˈspent \

Definition of spent 

1a : used up : consumed

b : exhausted of active or required components or qualities often for a particular purpose spent nuclear fuel

2 : drained of energy or effectiveness : exhausted

3 : exhausted of spawn or sperm spent fishes

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Examples of spent in a Sentence

he plopped down in his chair, completely spent, and then fell asleep

Recent Examples on the Web

Many are located along the coast, where the material from the spent pyrotechnics gets blown ashore and moved around. Gary Robbins, latimes.com, "Monitoring the air around July Fourth fireworks for signs of dangerous lead," 4 July 2018 Units 4, 5, and 6 were shut down, albeit with spent reactor fuel sitting in pools that required cooling. Andrew Karam, Popular Mechanics, "Five Years Later, Cutting Through the Fukushima Myths," 11 Mar. 2016 The victim was found face-down on the ground, with blood covering his face and three spent casings next to his body. Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Police investigate two fatal shootings on city's east side," 14 July 2018 Family and friends spent days trying to contact Eastman, to no avail. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Missing Wash. Teen Found Dead — and Childhood Friend Charged in Sex Assault, Beating Death," 3 July 2018 Many are located along the coast, where the material from the spent pyrotechnics gets blown ashore and moved around. Gary Robbins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "UC San Diego to monitor fireworks explosions for traces of lead," 3 July 2018 Caving and diving experts from the U.S., China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Thailand’s own version of the Navy SEALS had all spent days trying to reach the team. J. Weston Phippen, Outside Online, "The Thai Soccer Team Trapped in a Cave Was Found Alive," 2 July 2018 Turns out back in the day, pancakes were often just a way to use up old, spent bread starter. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaskana recipe: Sourdough pancakes," 27 June 2018 The former Ivory Coast international spent eight years at Stamford Bridge, scoring a total of 164 goals in 381 appearances and helping the Blues clinch three Premier League titles, two League Cups, four FA Cups and one Champions League trophy. SI.com, "'Can't Compute': Fans Are Shocked By What Chelsea Legend Didier Drogba Has Done to His Hair," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spent.' 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 spent

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spent

Middle English, from past participle of spenden to spend

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Phrases Related to spent

a spent force

well spent

Statistics for spent

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Time Traveler for spent

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

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More Definitions for spent



English Language Learners Definition of spent

: used up and no longer useful

: tired and drained of energy


\ˈspent \

Kids Definition of spent

1 : used up a spent battery

2 : drained of energy By Fridays, I'm spent.

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Comments on spent

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


not any or not one

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