spell

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English spel, spellian, spelian, from Proto-Germanic *spellą, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *spel- (to tell). Cognate with dialectal German Spill, spellen and Albanian fjalë (word).

NounEdit

spell (plural spells)

  1. (obsolete) Speech, discourse. [8th-15th c.]
  2. Words or a formula supposed to have magical powers. [from 16th c.]
    He cast a spell to cure warts.
  3. A magical effect or influence induced by an incantation or formula. [from 16th c.]
    under a spell
Related termsEdit
SynonymsEdit
  • (words or formula supposed to have magical powers): cantrip, incantation
  • (magical effect induced by an incantation or formula): cantrip
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

spell (third-person singular simple present spells, present participle spelling, simple past and past participle spelled)

  1. (obsolete) To speak, to declaim. [9th-16th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.ii:
      O who can tell / The hidden power of herbes, and might of Magicke spell?
  2. (obsolete) To tell; to relate; to teach.
    • T. Warton
      Might I that legend find, / By fairies spelt in mystic rhymes.
  3. To put under the influence of a spell; to affect by a spell; to bewitch; to fascinate; to charm.
    • Dryden
      Spelled with words of power.
    • Sir G. Buck
      He was much spelled with Eleanor Talbot.

Etymology 2Edit

From Old French espel(l)er ( > Modern French épeler), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *spel- (to speak).

VerbEdit

spell (third-person singular simple present spells, present participle spelling, simple past and past participle spelled or spelt (mostly UK))

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To read (something) as though letter by letter; to peruse slowly or with effort. [from 14th c.]
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick:
      "He'll do," said Bildad, eyeing me, and then went on spelling away at his book in a mumbling tone quite audible.
  2. (transitive, sometimes with “out”) To write or say the letters that form a word or part of a word. [from 16th c.]
  3. (intransitive) To be able to write or say the letters that form words.
    I find it difficult to spell because I'm dyslexic.
  4. (transitive) Of letters: to compose (a word). [from 19th c.]
    The letters “a”, “n” and “d” spell “and”.
    • 2008, Helen Fryer, The Esperanto Teacher[1], BiblioBazaar, LLC, ISBN 9780554320076, page 13:
      In Esperanto each letter has only one sound, and each sound is represented in only one way. The words are pronounced exactly as spelt, every letter being sounded.
  5. (transitive, figuratively) To indicate that (some event) will occur. [from 19th c.]
    This spells trouble.
  6. (transitive, figuratively, with “out”) To clarify; to explain in detail. [from 20th c.]
    Please spell it out for me.
    • 2003, U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbel, Hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, ISBN 1422334120:
      When we get elected, for instance, we get one of these, and we are pretty much told what is in it, and it is our responsibility to read it and understand it, and if we do not, the Ethics Committee, we can call them any time of day and ask them to spell it out for us []
  7. To constitute; to measure.
    • Fuller
      the Saxon heptarchy, when seven kings put together did spell but one in effect
Derived termsEdit
SynonymsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 3Edit

Origin uncertain; perhaps a form of speld.

NounEdit

spell (plural spells)

  1. (dialectal) A splinter, usually of wood; a spelk.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holland to this entry?)

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English spelen, from Old English spelian, akin to spala (substitute).

VerbEdit

spell (third-person singular simple present spells, present participle spelling, simple past and past participle spelled or spelt)

  1. (transitive) To work in place of (someone).
    to spell the helmsman
  2. (transitive) To rest (someone or something).
    They spelled the horses and rested in the shade of some trees near a brook.
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

spell (plural spells)

  1. A shift (of work); a set of workers responsible for a specific turn of labour. [from 16th c.]
  2. A period of (work or other activity). [from 18th c.]
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      A chap named Eleazir Kendrick and I had chummed in together the summer afore and built a fish-weir and shanty at Setuckit Point, down Orham way. For a spell we done pretty well. Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand.
    • 2012 April 22, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0-1 West Brom”, BBC Sport:
      Despite his ill-fated spell at Anfield, he received a warm reception from the same Liverpool fans he struggled to win over before being sacked midway through last season.
  3. An indefinite period of time (usually with some qualifying word). [from 18th c.]
    • 1975, Bob Dylan, Tangled Up in Blue
      I had a job in the great North Woods
      Workin' as a cook for a spell.
      But I never did like it all that much
      And one day the ax just fell.
  4. A period of rest; time off. [from 19th c.]
  5. (US) A period of illness, or sudden interval of bad spirits, disease etc. [from 19th c.]
  6. (cricket) An uninterrupted series of alternate overs bowled by a single bowler. [from 20th c.]
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

QuotationsEdit

AnagramsEdit


FaroeseEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

spell n (genitive singular spels, plural spell)

  1. pity, shame

DeclensionEdit

n9 Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative spell spellið spell spellini
Accusative spell spellið spell spellini
Dative spelli spellinum spellum spellunum
Genitive spels spelsins spella spellanna
Last modified on 17 April 2014, at 23:48