\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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of spent in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

By the summer of 2017, the Left Trolls were mostly a spent force. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why Facebook banned Alex Jones — and Twitter didn’t," 11 Aug. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spent

Statistics for spent

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on spent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spent

Nglish: Translation of spent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spent for Arabic Speakers

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).


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!