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Line breaks: spawn
Pronunciation: /spɔːn

Definition of spawn in English:


1 [no object] (Of a fish, frog, mollusc, crustacean, etc.) release or deposit eggs: the fish spawn among fine-leaved plants
More example sentences
  • Goldburg says cod and other fish may spawn inside cages.
  • The fish were spawning so the rivers were well stocked.
  • The female salmon spawns and then dies.
1.1 (be spawned) (Of a fish, frog, etc.) be laid as eggs: the fish can locate the precise stream in which they were spawned
2 [with object] often derogatory (Of a person) produce (offspring): why had she married a man who could spawn a boy like that?
More example sentences
  • They asked me to leave and notified the Child Welfare department that if I should ever spawn a child, it should be taken from my custody right away.
  • A human half my age has spawned ten children who all have four or more of their own.
2.1Produce or generate a large number of: the decade spawned a bewildering variety of books on the forces
More example sentences
  • Nowlan's comic strip was widely popular, running for decades and spawning a host of imitators.
  • Kitchen restorations are a boom industry, and are spawning a new breed of specialists.
  • The only negative thing I can say about this song is that it might have the unfortunate side effect of spawning a league of yelling-guy-with-drums imitators.
give rise to, bring about, occasion, generate, engender, originate, lead to, result in, effect, induce, initiate, start, set off;
breed, bear, give birth to;
contribute to, make for, be conducive to, foster, promote
literary beget


[mass noun] Back to top  
1The eggs of fish, frogs, etc. the fish covers its spawn with gravel
1.1The process of producing spawn: lax regulations, especially during the spawn, are responsible for the declining populations
2chiefly derogatory The product or offspring of a person or place: the spawn of Satan
More example sentences
  • There was a flash of color in the demon spawn's cheeks.
  • She was like the wild, caffeinated, blonde spawn of Satan.
  • He was, without a doubt, the devil's evil spawn, sent down to earth to mess up the lives of innocent and simple girls.
3The mycelium of a fungus, especially a cultivated mushroom: a supplier of spawn for shiitake mushrooms
More example sentences
  • They also sell organically certified shiitake mushroom spawn.


late Middle English: shortening of Anglo-Norman French espaundre 'to shed roe', variant of Old French espandre 'pour out', from Latin expandere 'expand'.




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