spell

[[t]spe̱l[/t]]
♦♦♦
spells, spelling, spelled, spelt
(American English uses the form spelled as the past tense and past participle. British English uses either spelled or spelt.)
1) VERB When you spell a word, you write or speak each letter in the word in the correct order.

[V n] He gave his name and then helpfully spelt it...

[V n] How do you spell `potato'?...

[V-ed] `Tang' is `Gnat' spelt backwards.

Spell out means the same as spell.

V n P If I don't know a word, I ask them to spell it out for me... V P n (not pron) I never have to spell out my first name.

2) VERB: no cont Someone who can spell knows the correct order of letters in words.

It's shocking how students can't spell these days...

[V n] You accused me of inaccuracy yet you can't spell `Middlesex'.

3) VERB: no cont If something spells a particular result, often an unpleasant one, it suggests that this will be the result.

[V n] If the irrigation plan goes ahead, it could spell disaster for the birds...

[V n] A report has just arrived on government desks which spells more trouble.

Syn:
4) N-COUNT: usu N of n A spell of a particular type of weather or a particular activity is a short period of time during which this type of weather or activity occurs.

There has been a long spell of dry weather...

You join a barrister for two six-month spells of practical experience.

...sunny spells.

Syn:
5) N-COUNT A spell is a situation in which events are controlled by a magical power.

They say she died after a witch cast a spell on her.

...the kiss that will break the spell.

6) See also spelling
7) PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR on/over n If something or someone casts their spell on you or casts a spell on you, you are fascinated or charmed by them.

For many years sundials have cast their spell over scientists and mathematicians...

People said he was able to cast a spell on the public.

8) PHRASE: N inflects, PHR after v, v-link PHR If you are under someone 's spell, you are so fascinated by them that you cannot think about anything else.

Even sensible Frank had fallen under her spell.

Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spell — Spell, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spelled}or {Spelt}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spelling}.] [OE. spellen, spellien, tell, relate, AS. spellian, fr. spell a saying, tale; akin to MHG. spellen to relate, Goth. spill?n.e {Spell} a tale. In sense 4 and those… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spell — can be: *Spell (paranormal) * Spell (recipe) * The Spell , a novel * *Spell (band), a musical group consisting of Boyd Rice and Rose McDowall *The Spells, an American indie rock band of the late 1990s consisting of Carrie Brownstein and Mary… …   Wikipedia

  • spell — spell1 [spel] n. [ME < OE, a saying, tale, charm, akin to Goth spill, tale < ? IE base * (s)pel , to speak loudly] 1. a word, formula, or form of words thought to have some magic power; incantation 2. seemingly magical power or irresistible …   English World dictionary

  • spell — Ⅰ. spell [1] ► VERB (past and past part. spelled or chiefly Brit. spelt) 1) write or name the letters that form (a word) in correct sequence. 2) (of letters) make up or form (a word). 3) be a sign of; lead to: the plans would spell disaster. 4) …   English terms dictionary

  • Spell — Spell, n. 1. The relief of one person by another in any piece of work or watching; also, a turn at work which is carried on by one person or gang relieving another; as, a spell at the pumps; a spell at the masthead. [1913 Webster] A spell at the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spell — n Spell, shift, tour, trick, turn, stint, bout, go can mean a limited period or amount of some activity that often follows a schedule. Spell is ordinarily used in reference to very heavy or trying work which must be interrupted by a period of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Spell — Spell, n.[AS. spell a saying, tale, speech; akin to OS. & OHG. spel, Icel. spjall,Goth. spill. Cf. {Gospel}, {Spell} to tell the letters of.] 1. A story; a tale. [Obs.] Hearken to my spell. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. A stanza, verse, or phrase… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spell — [n1] interval, period bit, bout, course, go, hitch, interlude, intermission, patch, relay, season, shift, space, stint, streak, stretch, term, time, tour, tour of duty, trick, turn, while; concepts 807,817,822 spell [n2] magical aura over an… …   New thesaurus

  • Spell — Spell, v. i. 1. To form words with letters, esp. with the proper letters, either orally or in writing. [1913 Webster] When what small knowledge was, in them did dwell, And he a god, who could but read or spell. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To study… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spell — Spell, n. [OE. speld, AS. speld a spill to light a candle with; akin to D. speld a pin, OD. spelle, G. spalten to split, OHG. spaltan, MHG. spelte a splinter, Icel. spjald a square tablet, Goth. spilda a writing tablet. Cf. {Spill}splinter, roll… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spell — Spell, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spelled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spelling}.] [AS. spelian to supply another s place.] To supply the place of for a time; to take the turn of, at work; to relieve; as, to spell the helmsman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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