Share this entry

Share this page

spawn

Line breaks: spawn
Pronunciation: /spɔːn
 
/

Definition of spawn in English:

verb

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.
Synonyms
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

noun

[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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

spawner

1
noun

Definition of spawn in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈSHpräkɡəˌf(y)o͞ol
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…