\ ˈspēl How to pronounce spiel (audio) , ˈshpēl \
spieled; spieling; spiels

Definition of spiel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to play music
2 : to talk volubly or extravagantly

transitive verb

: to utter, express, or describe volubly or extravagantly



Definition of spiel (Entry 2 of 2)

: a voluble line of often extravagant talk : pitch

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Other Words from spiel


spieler \ ˈspē-​lər How to pronounce spiel (audio) , ˈshpē-​ \ noun

Did You Know?


There's more than one "spiel." The noun sense is well-known, and many of our readers may also be aware that "spiel" can be used as a verb for the act of talking extravagantly. But did you know that the verb can also mean "to play music"? That, in fact, was the word's original meaning - one it shares with its German root, spielen. ("Spiel" is also found in "glockenspiel," a musical instrument similar to the xylophone.) In Scottish English, "spiel" is also sometimes used as a shortened form of "bonspiel," a name for a match or tournament of the icy game of curling.

Examples of spiel in a Sentence

Noun I listened to the salesman's spiel but still refused to buy anything. He gave me a long spiel about the benefits of joining the club.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Just landed: Travel news Have podcast, will virtually travel: A good travel podcast acts as an aural postcard, spieling out details about a destination for an audience that’s not jetting off—yet. Susan Seubert, National Geographic, 13 May 2020 George had spieled a third version of that boss blonde in the picture. James Ellroy, Vanities, 7 Oct. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And given Maisy's spiel, this Black person was here for an interview. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, 1 June 2021 Carl gave me the whole spiel of the drink, including a short history and his personal reason for choosing to prepare it for me. Jillian Dara, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Each founder gave their spiel, then accepted questions from the panel. Arielle Pardes, Wired, 21 Apr. 2021 The party is also hedging its bets that the divisive issues Trump outlined in his two-hour spiel will still matter to voters in 2022 and beyond. Dawn Ennis, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2021 The spiel of the prerecord narrator has the usual down-home Gatorland humor, yet manages to work in a haggis joke. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, 8 Oct. 2020 Now in the store, Ms. Moton launched into her spiel. New York Times, 7 Oct. 2020 Trump blatantly lied about CNN during his spiel about Walter Reed. Brian Stelter, CNN, 4 Sep. 2020 Then when the new mandate said that bars had to serve food, Sabatino came up with a spiel for her newest menu item. Brooke Henderson, Fortune, 11 Aug. 2020

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


1870, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spiel


German spielen to play, from Old High German spilōn; akin to Old English spilian to revel

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Cite this Entry

“Spiel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiel. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for spiel



English Language Learners Definition of spiel

informal : a fast speech that someone has often said before and that is usually intended to persuade people to buy something, agree to something, etc.

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