Definition of spate in English:

spate

Line breaks: spate
Pronunciation: /speɪt
 
/

noun

  • 1A large number of similar things coming in quick succession: a spate of attacks on holidaymakers
    More example sentences
    • After a spate of attacks in March and April this year, bookmakers have become increasingly successful in fending off attacks.
    • With greed left to take its course, a spate of scandals has erupted among foundations and charities.
    • Technology stocks took a fresh battering after a spate of US profit warnings spread gloom across world financial markets.
    Synonyms
    series, succession, run, cluster, string, outbreak, rash, epidemic, explosion, plague, wave, flurry, rush, flood, deluge, torrent, outpouring
  • 2chiefly British A sudden flood in a river.
    More example sentences
    • As the river rapidly went into full spate, the ice blue turned chocolate brown and became unfishable.

Phrases

in (full) spate

(Of a river) overflowing due to a sudden flood.
More example sentences
  • Should the river be swollen in spate, it is one of the best places in Scotland to witness the true magic of the spectacular leaping antics of the genuine wild Atlantic salmon.
  • Not long ago, one used to spot plaques in many parts of the city, depicting the highest flood level of the river in spate.
  • Many of the local rivers were in spate especially the Owveg River.
Used to refer to a person or action that is continuing with vigour and without pause: the headmaster was in full spate
More example sentences
  • By then Stalin's terror was in full spate.
  • The sexual revolution was in full spate.
  • There are very few occasions as exhilarating as a youth orchestra in full spate.

Origin

late Middle English (originally Scots and northern English in the sense 'flood, inundation'): of unknown origin.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
noun
a small amount; a little