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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English spalle (a chip) (first documented in 1440), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from the Middle English verb spald (to split) (c.1400), from Middle Low German spalden, cognate with Old High German spaltan (to split)

Alternative formsEdit


spall (plural spalls)

  1. A splinter, fragment or chip, especially of stone.
    • 1974, GB Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, New York 2007, p. 13:
      My father knew Bert Le Feuvre, the foreman of Griffith's yard, and there was a little heap of spawls waiting ready every night in summer after school for me to crack.


spall (third-person singular simple present spalls, present participle spalling, simple past and past participle spalled)

  1. (transitive) To break into fragments or small pieces.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Pryce to this entry?)
  2. (transitive) To reduce, as irregular blocks of stone, to an approximately level surface by hammering.
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Italian spalla.


spall (plural spalls)

  1. (obsolete, rare) The shoulder.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene,
      Their mightie strokes their haberieons dismayld, / And naked made each others manly spalles [...].