spell1 S2 [spel] v past tense and past participle spelt [spelt] BrE also spelled especially AmE
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: espeller]
1.) [I and T]
to form a word by writing or naming the letters in order
How do you spell 'juice'?
Pupils should know how to spell commonly used words.
spell sth wrong/wrongly
You've spelled my name wrong.
2.) [T not in passive]
if letters spell a word, they form it
B-O-O-K spells 'book'.
3.) spell trouble/disaster/danger etc
if a situation or action spells trouble etc, it makes you expect trouble etc
The lack of rain could spell disaster for farmers.
4.) [T] AmE
to do someone else's work for them for a short period so that they can rest
I can spell you if you get tired.
spell out [spell sth<=>out] phr v
1.) to explain something clearly and in detail
spell out how/what etc
The report spelled out in detail what the implications were for teacher training.
2.) to show how a word is spelled by writing or saying the letters separately in order
'W-E-I-R,' she said, spelling it out.
3.) to write a word in its complete form instead of using an ↑abbreviation
spell 2
spell2 n
[Sense: 1,3-4; Origin: Old English'talk, story']
[Sense: 2; Date: 1600-1700; Origin: spell 'to take the place of another' (11-21 centuries), from Old English spelian]
1.) a piece of magic that someone does, or the special words or ceremonies used in doing it
a magic spell
put a spell on sb/cast a spell over sb
(=do a piece of magic to change someone)
The kiss of the prince broke the spell (=stopped the magic from working) .
be under a spell
The whole town seemed to be under a spell.
2.) a period of a particular kind of activity, weather, illness etc, usually a short period
brief/short spell
After a brief spell in the army, I returned to teaching.
spell of
a spell of bad luck
cold/wet/dry spell
Water the young plants carefully during dry spells.
a day of sunny spells and scattered showers
He began to suffer from dizzy spells .
3.) a power that attracts, interests, and influences you very strongly
fall/come/be under a spell
I fell under the spell of her charm.
an ancient city that still casts its spell over travellers
4.) break the spell
to make someone stop paying all their attention to something, or to make a time stop feeling special
He lay still, not wanting to break the spell.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • 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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