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spawn 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
1.2(Of a character or object in a video game) appear at a certain point in the game: then they enter the undead land where defenders will spawn to fight against them [with object]: players can spawn a ghost ship to confuse foes
More example sentences
  • If you see your team is mounting a heavy assault on an enemy base, spawn as infantry and rush in.
  • He spawned clones of each party member that — if not quickly killed — would explode and deal 50,000 damage to the party.
  • Just before logging out, I noticed a level 60 Mage without a guild tag pulling newly spawned dwarves from the camp.
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'.

  • pace from Middle English:

    The word pace comes via Old French pas from Latin passus ‘stretch (of the leg)’. As well as stepping, it also meant ‘journey, route’ in early examples. To be put through your paces arose in the mid 18th century from horse-riding. The notion of ‘tempo’ as in change of pace is from the 1950s while pace yourself is only found from the 1970s. Other words from the same root are pass in the sense to go by, passage (Middle English); passenger (Middle English) the ‘n’ added to conform with words like ‘messenger’; and expand, literally to stretch out. The Old French form of expand, espandre, has the special sense of ‘to shed, spill, pour out’ and is the origin of to spawn (Late Middle English).

Words that rhyme with spawn

adorn, born, borne, bourn, Braun, brawn, corn, dawn, drawn, faun, fawn, forborne, forewarn, forlorn, freeborn, lawn, lorn, morn, mourn, newborn, Norn, outworn, pawn, prawn, Quorn, sawn, scorn, Sean, shorn, suborn, sworn, thorn, thrawn, torn, Vaughan, warn, withdrawn, worn, yawn
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