\ 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

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, is 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 Paco whipped out his smartphone, logged on to Instagram Live, and began to spiel. Los Angeles Times, 18 June 2021 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 The spiel has changed for Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, the gliding ride at Magic Kingdom, as Walt Disney World preps for its next major ride to open. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 12 July 2022 There, speaking with actress Keke Palmer to an overwhelmingly Black crowd of about 400 people, Harris gave the same general spiel about elections and the importance of Democrats showing up at the polls in November. Los Angeles Times, 6 July 2022 At the gathering, Michael begins his spiel with a tale that soon becomes obvious is pulled from his own youth. Alexandra Schonfeld, PEOPLE.com, 1 July 2022 A few minutes into his spiel, someone rushed to the stage and asked if there was a doctor in the audience. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 2022 At the upfronts, as the television industry’s annual pitch event for advertisers is known, the traditional TV aspect of the spiel this year may have never been less important. Megan Graham, WSJ, 19 May 2022 The writer was referring to the Purim spiel tradition that had become significantly ensconced in American Judaism. Zev Eleff, The Conversation, 10 Mar. 2022 The coach, not one to shy away from advocating for his team if a certain 19-minute pregame spiel is any indication, latched onto this thought as well. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Apr. 2022 After one particularly traumatic ordeal for the characters, Mike gives a spiel about life’s road being determined by small, irreversible choices. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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 16 Aug. 2022.

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