There are 4 definitions of spell in English:

spell1

Syllabification: spell
Pronunciation: /spel
 
/

verb (past and past participle spelled /speld/ or chiefly Britishspelt /spelt/)

[with object]
1Write or name the letters that form (a word) in correct sequence: Dolly spelled her name [no object]: journals have a house style about how to spell
More example sentences
  • Several immigrants didn't know how to write or spell their own names, so immigration inspectors created one for them.
  • The first twenty pages of my first book are filled with nothing but hundreds of attempts to learn to write and spell my name.
  • Did you make sure you spelt my name correctly?
1.1(Of letters) make up or form (a word): the letters spell the word “how.”
More example sentences
  • The first team to lose five hands, thus getting five letters spelling the whole word K-E-M-P-S loses the game.
  • I've thought of writing a poem, with the first letter of each word spelling my email, but my attempts so far are not likely to get a reply.
  • The participants classified the target by pressing one key if the letter string spelled a word they knew, and another key if it did not.
1.2Be recognizable as a sign or characteristic of: she had the chic, efficient look that spells Milan
1.3Lead to: the plans would spell disaster for the economy
More example sentences
  • Failure to resolve this last issue quickly and effectively would have spelled disaster for the plan.
  • The variable that promised to spell disaster for Iowa farmers was the high seed costs associated with GM crops.
  • For everyone else, however, it spells disaster.
Synonyms

Origin

Middle English: shortening of Old French espeller, from the Germanic base of spell2.

Phrasal verbs

spell something out

Speak the letters that form a word in sequence.
More example sentences
  • I was communicating by spelling things out on a letter board.
  • At this rate, I would be surprised if she started spelling the words out for us.
  • Sarah practically spelled the words out to him and he showed no signs of knowing what the hell she was talking about.
Explain something in detail: I’ll spell out the problem again
More example sentences
  • He said his plans will be spelled out in more detail in the strategy he will present to the EU later this week.
  • One area where costs are spelled out in detail is that of executive salary packages.
  • The details of the agreement will be spelled out in a contract.
Synonyms
explain, make clear, make plain, elucidate, clarify; specify, itemize, detail, enumerate, list, expound, particularize, catalog

Derivatives

spellable

adjective
More example sentences
  • "I felt it was a spellable word," Liam said, after emerging from the spelling bee's famous "comfort room".
  • A spellable, pronounceable name that gets a positive reaction from the people you admire remains your safest naming bet.
  • They are all very spellable words. You just probably haven't heard them before.

Definition of spell in:

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Word of the day salmanazar
Pronunciation: ˌsalməˈnazər
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There are 4 definitions of spell in English:

spell2

Syllabification: spell
Pronunciation: /spel
 
/

noun

1A form of words used as a magical charm or incantation.
More example sentences
  • It wasn't quite the same as when a sorcerer used high level spells, but the words were still unintelligible.
  • Taukat showed his agreement by muttering the words of a spell and conjuring a cloud of acid rain over the unsuspecting targets.
  • Kyri was mumbling the words to a spell which she finished by laying her hand on Aikel's arm.
Synonyms
incantation, charm, conjuration, formula; (spells)magic, sorcery, witchcraft, hex, curse
1.1A state of enchantment caused by a magic spell: the magician may cast a spell on himself
More example sentences
  • I quickly cast a spell on my rod, blazing the magic back to the Shadow.
  • But before he took the last step that brought him to the old man's domain, Cale had paid a half-demon sorceress to cast a spell on him.
  • My mother died shortly after I became ten, I'm not sure what disease she had acquired, but I think Giselle must have cast a spell on her.
1.2An ability to control or influence people as though one had magical power over them: she is afraid that you are waking from her spell
More example sentences
  • Only a ponderous blues lead by shaven headed bass player John Power temporarily broke the spell.
  • When you're in the culture and you're living it day to day, living in Brooklyn, South Central or Oakland, you are under the spell of that cultural influence.
  • Men often fall under the spell of the power of the boob.
Synonyms
influence, (animal) magnetism, charisma, allure, lure, charm, attraction, enticement; magic, romance, mystique

Origin

Old English spel(l) 'narration', of Germanic origin.

Phrases

under a spell

Not fully in control of one’s thoughts and actions, as though in a state of enchantment.
More example sentences
  • I felt like I was under a spell, and could no longer control my body.
  • I don't want to say under a spell, that seems trite.
  • On stage he comes alive and places the audience under a spell; outside of it, he works fiercely with a number of charities and human rights organisations.

under someone's spell

So devoted to someone that they seem to have magic power over one.
More example sentences
  • He has some sort of magic that puts me under his spell.
  • She was under his spell; mesmerized by his eyes and his voice and, most of all, by his touch.
  • He was so sure of himself and his power to seduce that it was hard not to fall under his spell, not that I wasn't a willing participant.

Definition of spell in:

There are 4 definitions of spell in English:

spell3

Syllabification: spell
Pronunciation: /spel
 
/

noun

1A short period: I want to get away from racing for a spell
More example sentences
  • Paul took up the post of County Accountant in the mid-Seventies, leaving for a short spell, only to return to take up the post of Finance Officer.
  • However, he was married for a short spell while he was living in County Kerry.
  • They merely took advantage of it for short spells while unable to obtain other work.
Synonyms
1.1A period spent in an activity: a spell of greenhouse work
More example sentences
  • A spell of hectic activity around the Stradbally area resulted in Mick Haughney setting up Garry Powell to equalise, in the 80 minute.
  • Then look at the couch potato who seems ready, not for an evening in front of the TV, but for a spell of inadvertent train spotting.
  • Leaving school at 13 he did the round of reform schools after a spell of teenage misdemeanours.
1.2A period of a specified kind of weather: an early cold spell in autumn
More example sentences
  • During this very cold spell of weather, parishioners are asked to be a good neighbour and call in and keep an eye on senior citizens, especially those living alone in the parish.
  • Despite being in the middle of fall, New York City had taken to a spell of cold weather that threatened to bring snow early.
  • During this current cold spell of weather do check on your neighbour - you may be in a position to help them in some small way.
1.3A period of suffering from a specified kind of illness: she plunges off a yacht and suffers a spell of amnesia
More example sentences
  • Your hospital insurance provides 60 days of fully covered hospital care, per spell of illness, after you have met a deductible.
  • Sadly however Paddy has passed away last week after a spell of illness and will join his brother in that Lilywhite stand in the sky for Sundays Leinster final.
  • He tirelessly promotes and fund raises for the club and despite a spell of serious illness, remained involved and totally dedicated.
Synonyms
bout, fit, attack
1.4Australian A period of rest from work.
More example sentences
  • This spell from the action may well bring the front runners back to the field.
  • Just before this we had an hour's spell so we would be fresh.

verb

[with object] chiefly North American Back to top  
1Allow (someone) to rest briefly by taking their place in some activity: I got sleepy and needed her to spell me for a while at the wheel
More example sentences
  • People begged him to seek help, admonished him for being stubborn, for his refusal to bring in others to spell him, for his refusal ever to leave her side.
1.1 [no object] Australian Take a brief rest: I’ll spell for a bit

Origin

late 16th century: variant of dialect spele 'take the place of', of unknown origin. The early sense of the noun was 'shift of relief workers'.

Definition of spell in:

There are 4 definitions of spell in English:

spell4

Line breaks: spell

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun

A splinter of wood.

Origin

late Middle English: perhaps a variant of obsolete speld 'chip, splinter'.

Definition of spell in: