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See also: Spell

Contents

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English spell, spel, from Old English spel (noun), from Proto-Germanic *spellą (speech, account, tale), from Proto-Indo-European *spel- (to tell). Cognate with dialectal German Spill, Icelandic spjall (discussion, talk), spjalla (to discuss, to talk), guðspjall (gospel) and Albanian fjalë (word).

NounEdit

spell (plural spells)

  1. Words or a formula supposed to have magical powers. [from 16th c.]
    He cast a spell to cure warts.
  2. A magical effect or influence induced by an incantation or formula. [from 16th c.]
    under a spell
  3. (obsolete) Speech, discourse. [8th-15th c.]
Derived 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. To put under the influence of a spell; to affect by a spell; to bewitch; to fascinate; to charm.
    • 1647, George Buck, The History and Life and Reigne of Richard the Third, London, Book 4, p. 116,[1]
      [] although the Kings Jealousie was thus particular to her, his Affection was as general to others [] Above all, for a time he was much speld with Elianor Talbot []
    • 1697, John Dryden (translator), Georgics, Book 3 in The Works of Virgil, London: Jacob Tonson, p. 109, lines 444-446,[2]
      This, gather’d in the Planetary Hour,
      With noxious Weeds, and spell’d with Words of pow’r
      Dire Stepdames in the Magick Bowl infuse;
    • 1817, John Keats, “To a Friend who sent me some Roses” in Poems, London: C. & J. Ollier, p. 83,[3]
      But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me
      My sense with their deliciousness was spell’d:
  2. (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?
  3. (obsolete) To tell; to relate; to teach.
    • 1770, Thomas Warton, “Ode on the Approach of Summer” in A Collection of Poems in Four Volumes, London: G. Pearch, Volume 1, p. 278,[4]
      As thro’ the caverns dim I wind,
      Might I that legend find,
      By fairies spelt in mystic rhymes,

Etymology 2Edit

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

VerbEdit

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

  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[5], BiblioBazaar, LLC, →ISBN, 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.
    • 2006 March 13, Matt Charles as Terrence Lewis and Michael Gough as Tim Scam, “The Dream Teens”, in Totally Spies!: Undercover, season 4, episode 1, written by Richard Clark, Teletoon, Marathon Media:
      Welcome to the League Aiming to Menace and Overthrow Spies!
      You realize that spells “LAMOS”?
  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:
      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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 3Edit

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), to give someone or something a rest or break.
    They spelled the horses and rested in the shade of some trees near a brook.
  3. (intransitive, colloquial) To rest from work for a time.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

spell (plural spells)

  1. A shift (of work); (rare) a set of workers responsible for a specific turn of labour. [from 16th c.]
  2. (informal) A definite period (of work or other activity). [from 18th c.]
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in 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”, in 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. (colloquial) An indefinite period of time (usually with a qualifier); by extension, a relatively short distance. [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.
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, chapter 24, in Dracula[6], HTML edition:
      Even Mrs. Harker seems to lose sight of her trouble for whole spells. [...] When he had spoken, Mina's long spell of silence made me look at her.
  4. A period of rest; time off. [from 19th c.]
  5. (colloquial, 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

QuotationsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

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?)
  2. The wooden bat in the game of trap ball, or knurr and spell.

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