What does spade mean?

Definitions for spade

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word spade.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. spadenoun

    a playing card in the major suit that has one or more black figures on it

    "she led a low spade"; "spades were trumps"

  2. spadenoun

    a sturdy hand shovel that can be pushed into the earth with the foot

  3. spadeverb

    dig (up) with a spade

    "I spade compost into the flower beds"


  1. spadenoun

    A garden tool with a handle and a flat blade for digging. Not to be confused with a shovel which is used for moving earth or other materials.

  2. spadenoun

    A playing card marked with the symbol .

    I've got only one spade in my hand.

  3. spadenoun

    A black person.

  4. spadeverb

    To turn over soil with a spade to loosen the ground for planting.

  5. Etymology: From spadu, spada, of origin. Cognate with Old Frisian spada, Old Saxon spado, German Spaten. Ultimately from spə-dh-, whence also Ancient Greek σπάθη, Hittite.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Spadenoun

    Etymology: spad , Saxon; spade, Islandick and Dutch.

    Take the air of the earth new turned up, by digging with the spade, or standing by him that diggeth. Francis Bacon.

    Many learned men affirm, that some isthmes have been eat through by the sea, and others cut by the spade. Brown.

    His next advance was to the soldier’s trade,
    Where if he did not nimbly ply the spade,
    His surly officer ne’er fail’d to crack
    His knotty cudgel on his tougher back. Dryden.

    Here nature never diff’rence made
    Between the sceptre and the spade. Jonathan Swift.


  1. Spade

    A spade is a tool primarily for digging consisting of a long handle and blade, typically with the blade narrower and flatter than the common shovel. Early spades were made of riven wood or of animal bones (often shoulder blades). After the art of metalworking was developed, spades were made with sharper tips of metal. Before the introduction of metal spades manual labor was less efficient at moving earth, with picks being required to break up the soil in addition to a spade for moving the dirt. With a metal tip, a spade can both break and move the earth in most situations, increasing efficiency. A classic spade, with a narrow body and flat (or near flat) tip is suited for digging post holes, and is not to be confused with a "roundpoint" shovel, which has a wider body and tapered tip.


  1. spade

    A spade is a tool traditionally used for digging or cutting earth, soil, or other materials. It usually consists of a broad, flat blade attached to a long handle. The term "spade" could also refer to a suit in a deck of playing cards, symbolized by a black, pointed shape resembling a leaf or heart top with a stem at the bottom.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Spadenoun

    a hart or stag three years old

  2. Spadenoun

    a castrated man or beast

  3. Spadenoun

    an implement for digging or cutting the ground, consisting usually of an oblong and nearly rectangular blade of iron, with a handle like that of a shovel

  4. Spadenoun

    one of that suit of cards each of which bears one or more figures resembling a spade

  5. Spadenoun

    a cutting instrument used in flensing a whale

  6. Spadeverb

    to dig with a spade; to pare off the sward of, as land, with a spade

  7. Etymology: [Cf. Spay, n.]


  1. Spade

    A spade is a tool designed primarily for the purpose of digging or removing earth and spreading the soil. Early spades were made of riven wood. After the art of metalworking was discovered, spades were made with sharper tips of metal. Before the introduction of metal spades manual labor was less efficient at moving earth, with picks being required to break up the soil in addition to a spade for moving the dirt. With a metal tip, a spade can both break and move the earth in most situations, increasing efficiency.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Spade

    spād, n. a broad blade of iron with a handle, used for digging: a playing-card of one of the two black suits, shaped like a heart with a triangular handle.—v.t. to dig with a spade.—ns. Spade′-bone, the scapula; Spade′-foot, a scaphiopod or spade-footed toad; Spade′ful, as much as a spade will hold; Spade′-guin′ea, a guinea coined 1787-99, so called from the shield on the reverse side having the shape of the spade in playing-cards.—Call a spade a spade, to call things by their plain names, without softening: to speak out plainly. [A.S. spadu, spædu; L. spatha—Gr. spathē, any broad blade.]

  2. Spade

    spād, n. a eunuch: a gelding.—Also Spā′do. [Gr. spadōn, a eunuch.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. spade

    In open speaking, to call a spade a spade is to give a man his real character. The phrase is old and still in use.

Suggested Resources

  1. spade

    Song lyrics by spade -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by spade on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. SPADE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Spade is ranked #12264 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Spade surname appeared 2,536 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Spade.

    90.9% or 2,306 total occurrences were White.
    3.9% or 99 total occurrences were Black.
    1.8% or 47 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.8% or 46 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.1% or 28 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.3% or 10 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for spade »

  1. adeps

  2. sepad

  3. depas

How to pronounce spade?

How to say spade in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of spade in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of spade in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of spade in a Sentence

  1. Denzel Washington:

    I know you and your folks can come down here from God knows where and be about as black as the ace of spade, and as soon as you get here you start acting White. Treating us like we're your doormats.

  2. Michelle Main:

    Threw a spade and got a heart.

  3. Jessica Ramirez:

    Kate Spade doesn't know who its customer is anymore, i can't say that the product isn't nice, but I don't know who would wear it.

  4. Chris Rock:

    Me, Sandler, Spade and Farley — we shared an office at‘Saturday Night Live,’ we called it a dorm. We’re friends to this day. I love those guys.

  5. Frances Beatrix Spade:

    House of Cards, is Spade’s niece. In the same 1999 interview with the Boston Globe, Spade, who had five siblings, told the newspaper her father owned a construction company and her mother was a housewife. To say the least, Spade, who recalled times of rummaging through her mother’s jewelry drawer and wearing overalls around the house, never expected to one day become a fashion expert. When I was a kid, I didn't even know Chanel. I would have called it Channel.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for spade

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"spade." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/spade>.

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