spell1 [ spel ] verb **
1. ) transitive to know the letters of a word in the correct order:
Can you spell the word beautiful?
a ) transitive to say or write the letters of a word in the correct order:
You've spelled my name wrong.
b ) intransitive to have a good knowledge of the way words are written:
Her writing is neat, but she can't spell.
c ) transitive if a series of letters spells a word, they make that word. This is usually used by children and teachers:
L-O-V-E spells love.
2. ) transitive to show that something is going to happen, usually something bad:
The news spelled the death of the U.S. car industry.
spell disaster/trouble: There's a determined look about him which can only spell trouble for his rivals.
3. ) transitive AMERICAN INFORMAL to do someone's work for a short time, so that they can rest:
I'd better go spell Mitch for a couple of hours.
,spell `out phrasal verb transitive
1. ) to say or write the letters of a word in the correct order
2. ) INFORMAL to say or explain something clearly:
spell something out to/for someone: It's frustrating when you have to spell everything out for them.
spell 2 [ spel ] noun count **
1. ) a period of time, usually a short one:
a two-week spell in the hospital
a brief/short spell: After a short spell in the army, I went to college.
a ) a period when there is a particular type of weather:
a hot/cold/wet/dry spell: A prolonged wet spell causes trouble for fruit farmers.
2. ) a time when you suddenly feel ill:
fainting/dizzy spell: He's had another of his dizzy spells.
3. ) a powerful influence on someone, usually an influence that makes them admire or obey another person:
fall/be under someone's spell: He was not the first man to fall under her spell.
cast a spell on someone: The beautiful island seemed to have cast a spell on him.
4. ) words or actions that make magic things happen:
cast/put a spell on: The witch cast a spell on him and turned him into a beast.
break the spell (=end it): What did the princess do to break the spell?

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spell — Spell, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spelled}or {Spelt}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spelling}.] [OE. spellen, spellien, tell, relate, AS. spellian, fr. spell a saying, tale; akin to MHG. spellen to relate, Goth. spill?n.e {Spell} a tale. In sense 4 and those… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spell — can be: *Spell (paranormal) * Spell (recipe) * The Spell , a novel * *Spell (band), a musical group consisting of Boyd Rice and Rose McDowall *The Spells, an American indie rock band of the late 1990s consisting of Carrie Brownstein and Mary… …   Wikipedia

  • spell — spell1 [spel] n. [ME < OE, a saying, tale, charm, akin to Goth spill, tale < ? IE base * (s)pel , to speak loudly] 1. a word, formula, or form of words thought to have some magic power; incantation 2. seemingly magical power or irresistible …   English World dictionary

  • spell — Ⅰ. spell [1] ► VERB (past and past part. spelled or chiefly Brit. spelt) 1) write or name the letters that form (a word) in correct sequence. 2) (of letters) make up or form (a word). 3) be a sign of; lead to: the plans would spell disaster. 4) …   English terms dictionary

  • Spell — Spell, n. 1. 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. [1913 Webster] A spell at the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spell — n Spell, shift, tour, trick, turn, stint, bout, go can mean a limited period or amount of some activity that often follows a schedule. Spell is ordinarily used in reference to very heavy or trying work which must be interrupted by a period of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Spell — Spell, n.[AS. spell a saying, tale, speech; akin to OS. & OHG. spel, Icel. spjall,Goth. spill. Cf. {Gospel}, {Spell} to tell the letters of.] 1. A story; a tale. [Obs.] Hearken to my spell. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. A stanza, verse, or phrase… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spell — [n1] interval, period bit, bout, course, go, hitch, interlude, intermission, patch, relay, season, shift, space, stint, streak, stretch, term, time, tour, tour of duty, trick, turn, while; concepts 807,817,822 spell [n2] magical aura over an… …   New thesaurus

  • Spell — Spell, v. i. 1. To form words with letters, esp. with the proper letters, either orally or in writing. [1913 Webster] When what small knowledge was, in them did dwell, And he a god, who could but read or spell. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To study… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spell — Spell, n. [OE. speld, AS. speld a spill to light a candle with; akin to D. speld a pin, OD. spelle, G. spalten to split, OHG. spaltan, MHG. spelte a splinter, Icel. spjald a square tablet, Goth. spilda a writing tablet. Cf. {Spill}splinter, roll… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spell — Spell, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spelled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spelling}.] [AS. spelian to supply another s place.] To supply the place of for a time; to take the turn of, at work; to relieve; as, to spell the helmsman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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