\ 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 spieler (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


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

George had spieled a third version of that boss blonde in the picture. James Ellroy, Vanities, "James Ellroy’s Buzz M for Murder," 7 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The media–Democrat caterwauling over Trump’s election-rigging spiel was not rooted in patriotic commitment to the American democratic tradition of accepting election outcomes. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The Election Is Legitimate Only If the Democrats Win," 16 Aug. 2019 Taylor goes through a quick spiel about Scooby Doo and Shaggy’s van, the Mystery Machine, and calls on a player to speculate about what Shaggy probably did in the Mystery Machine. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "24 Hours ... With Bengals Coach Zac Taylor," 25 July 2019 At this year’s convention, a long list of mostly black state legislators, many of them young, delivered uncompromisingly progressive speeches between the Presidential spiels. Bob Moser, The New Yorker, "The High Stakes for Kamala Harris in the South Carolina Primary," 26 June 2019 After their 60-second spiel, applicants are done for the day. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Here's What It's Really Like to Audition for 'Shark Tank'," 26 May 2019 Cue Peele as the narrator, delivering the customary send-off spiel. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jordan Peele's Take on The Twilight Zone's "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" Breaks from the Original," 3 Apr. 2019 Generally, the games begin with an employee gathering you and your friends at a door to give you a spiel. Molly Young, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Escape Rooms," 25 Apr. 2018 Kerr tries to wrap up his whole spiel with about seven minutes showing on the clock — six minutes at the latest. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Why Do the Warriors Dominate the 3rd Quarter? Consider Their Halftime Drill," 31 May 2018 There is a lot of theming sprinkled around, right down to the please-no-flash-photography spiel. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "First (and second) look: 'Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Live' at Epcot," 11 June 2018

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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Time Traveler for spiel

The first known use of spiel was in 1870

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on spiel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spiel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spiel

Spanish Central: Translation of spiel

Comments on spiel

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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