See also: Spiel


Etymology 1Edit

Borrowed from German Spiel (game, performance) and/or Yiddish שפּיל(shpil), both from Middle High German spil, from Old High German spil, from Proto-West Germanic *spil. Cognate with Old English spilian (to revel, play). See speel.

Alternative formsEdit


  • IPA(key): /ʃpiːl/, /spiːl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːl


spiel (countable and uncountable, plural spiels)

  1. A lengthy and extravagant speech or argument usually intended to persuade.
    • 1910, Irving Berlin (lyrics and music), “Dear Mayme, I Love You”:
      I'd love to be there with a real pretty spiel / But three little words can explain how I feel
    • 1939 May, Theodore Roethke, “The Auction”, in Poetry Magazine[1]:
      The spiel ran on; the sale was brief and brisk; / The bargains fell to bidders, one by one. / Hope flushed my cheekbones with a scarlet disk.
  2. (music) An early form of rap music.
    • 1991, Ira A. Robbins, The Trouser Press Record Guide, Howell Book House, →ISBN:
      Watt gets his turn on the mic too, delivering an amusingly disjointed rap (following Minutemen tradition, he calls it a spiel) on "Me & You, Remembering."
    • 2007, Jocelyne Cesari, Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, Greenwood Pub Group, →ISBN:
      A typical Last Poets song consisted of a "spiel," an early form of rap where song verses were spoken over conga drum percussions or jazz music.
    • 2007, Mickey Hess, Icons of Hip Hop: An Encyclopedia of the Movement, Music, and Culture, ABC-CLIO, →ISBN, page 17:
      Drawing on the smooth and steady rap style of disco DJs, the proto-rap spiel of the Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron, various other American and African American oral traditions (including, as mentioned above, radio disc jockey practice) []


spiel (third-person singular simple present spiels, present participle spieling, simple past and past participle spieled)

  1. (intransitive) To talk at length.
  2. (intransitive) To give a sales pitch; to promote by speaking.
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From the Scots spiel (game, play; curling match)[1] from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German spel.



spiel (plural spiels)

  1. A game of curling.
    • 1890, John Kerr, History of curling ... and fifty years of the Royal Caledonian curling club
      The portion of ice set apart for a curling spiel was called the lead, rank, or rink (by which last name it is still described), and as it was then shorter than it is now — its ordinary length being 30 yards
    • 1972, William M'Dowall, A. E. Truckell, History of the burgh of Dumfries
      On the Dock and Greensands the classical discus, or quoit, has in season due its modicum of disciples, (b) When the Nith is frozen over its surface becomes the scene of many a curling spiel
    • 1989, Morris Kenneth Mott; John Allardyce, Curling Capital, Univ. of Manitoba Press, →ISBN, page 13:
      A few organizational difficulties marred this spiel and the next, but thereafter most of the wrinkles were ironed out.
Derived termsEdit


  1. ^ "Spiel n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 November 2020.






  1. singular imperative of spielen