Definitions for spellspɛl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word spell

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

spellspɛl(v.)spelled; spelt, spell•ing.

  1. (v.t.)to name, write, or otherwise give the letters, in order, of (a word, syllable, etc.):

    Did I spell your name right?

    Category: Language/Linguistics

  2. (of letters) to form (a word, syllable, etc.):

    Y-e-s spells yes.

    Category: Language/Linguistics, Common Vocabulary

  3. to read letter by letter or with difficulty (often fol. by out).

  4. to signify; amount to:

    This delay spells disaster for us.

  5. (v.i.)to name, write, or give the letters of words, syllables, etc., esp. correctly.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

  6. to express words by letters:

    to spell in front of the children.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

  7. spell out, to explain something plainly, so that the meaning is unmistakable: to write out in full: to discern, as by study.

    Must I spell it out for you?

    The title “Ph.D.” is seldom spelled out.

    Category: Verb Phrase

Origin of spell:

1250–1300; ME < OF espeller < Gmc; cf. OE spellian to talk, announce (der. of spellspell2), OHG -spellōn, ON spjalla, Go spillon


  1. a word or phrase supposed to have magic power; incantation.

  2. a state or period of enchantment:

    living under a spell.

  3. any dominating or irresistible influence; fascination:

    the spell of fine music.

Origin of spell:

bef. 900; OE; c. OHG spel, ON spjall, Go spill tale


  1. a continuous period of work or other activity:

    to take a spell at the wheel.

  2. a turn of work so taken.

  3. a bout, fit, or period of anything experienced:

    a spell of coughing.

  4. an indefinite period:

    Come visit us for a spell.

  5. a period of weather of a specified kind:

    a hot spell.

  6. Archaic. a shift of workers relieving another.

  7. (v.t.)to take the place of for a time; relieve:

    Let me spell you at the wheel.

  8. (v.i.)to take turns at a job.

Origin of spell:

1585–95; (v.) alter. of earlier spele to stand instead of, relieve, spare, ME spelen, OE spelian; akin to OE spala, gespelia a substitute

Princeton's WordNet

  1. enchantment, spell, trance(noun)

    a psychological state induced by (or as if induced by) a magical incantation

  2. go, spell, tour, turn(noun)

    a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else)

    "it's my go"; "a spell of work"

  3. while, piece, spell, patch(noun)

    a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition

    "he was here for a little while"; "I need to rest for a piece"; "a spell of good weather"; "a patch of bad weather"

  4. spell, magic spell, magical spell, charm(verb)

    a verbal formula believed to have magical force

    "he whispered a spell as he moved his hands"; "inscribed around its base is a charm in Balinese"

  5. spell, spell out(verb)

    orally recite the letters of or give the spelling of

    "How do you spell this word?" "We had to spell out our names for the police officer"

  6. spell, import(verb)

    indicate or signify

    "I'm afraid this spells trouble!"

  7. spell, write(verb)

    write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)

    "He spelled the word wrong in this letter"

  8. spell(verb)

    relieve (someone) from work by taking a turn

    "She spelled her husband at the wheel"

  9. spell(verb)

    place under a spell

  10. spell(verb)

    take turns working

    "the workers spell every four hours"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. spell(verb)ɛl

    to choose or be the letters needed to make a word

    How do you spell your name?; I've never been able to spell.

  2. spellɛl

    to be an indication or sign

    a recent polls that spells trouble for the current president

  3. spell(noun)ɛl

    a short period of time

    He spent a short spell in France before college.

  4. spellɛl

    magic words said to make sth happen

    The witch cast a spell on him.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Spell(noun)

    a spelk, or splinter

  2. Spell(verb)

    to supply the place of for a time; to take the turn of, at work; to relieve; as, to spell the helmsman

  3. Spell(noun)

    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

  4. Spell(noun)

    the time during which one person or gang works until relieved; hence, any relatively short period of time, whether a few hours, days, or weeks

  5. Spell(noun)

    one of two or more persons or gangs who work by spells

  6. Spell(noun)

    a gratuitous helping forward of another's work; as, a logging spell

  7. Spell(noun)

    a story; a tale

  8. Spell(noun)

    a stanza, verse, or phrase supposed to be endowed with magical power; an incantation; hence, any charm

  9. Spell(verb)

    to tell; to relate; to teach

  10. Spell(verb)

    to put under the influence of a spell; to affect by a spell; to bewitch; to fascinate; to charm

  11. Spell(verb)

    to constitute; to measure

  12. Spell(verb)

    to tell or name in their proper order letters of, as a word; to write or print in order the letters of, esp. the proper letters; to form, as words, by correct orthography

  13. Spell(verb)

    to discover by characters or marks; to read with difficulty; -- usually with out; as, to spell out the sense of an author; to spell out a verse in the Bible

  14. Spell(verb)

    to form words with letters, esp. with the proper letters, either orally or in writing

  15. Spell(verb)

    to study by noting characters; to gain knowledge or learn the meaning of anything, by study


  1. Spell

    Spell was a collaboration between Rose McDowall and Boyd Rice. The two cover a number of songs from the 1960s and 1970s, often modifying the lyrics to make them darker. For instance the line in the original song Seasons in the Sun: "Goodbye Papa, please pray for me" becomes "Goodbye Papa, don't pray for me". Several references to Hell and death are added as well.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. spell

    Syn. incantation.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'spell' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1826

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'spell' in Nouns Frequency: #2019

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'spell' in Verbs Frequency: #711

Anagrams of spell

  1. Pells

Translations for spell

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a set or words which, when spoken, is supposed to have magical power

The witch recited a spell and turned herself into a swan.

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