spell


spell
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 influence; charm; fascination
3. a trance
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cast a spell on
1. to put into, or as into, a trance
2. to win the complete affection of
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under a spell
held in a spell or trance; enchanted
spell2 [spel]
vt.
spelled or spelt, spelling [ME spellen < OFr espeller, to explain, relate < Frank * spellōn, akin to SPELL1]
1. to name, write, or signal the letters which make up (a word, syllable, etc.), esp. the right letters in the right order, together with any required hyphens, apostrophes, accents, etc.
2. to make up, or form (a word, etc.): said of specified letters
3. to signify; mean [hard work spelled success]
vi.
to spell a word, words, etc.; esp., to do so correctly
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spell out
1. to read letter by letter or with difficulty
2. to make out, or discern, as if by close reading
3. to explain exactly and in detail
spell3 [spel]
vt.
spelled, spelling [ME spelien < OE spelian, to substitute for, akin to spala, a substitute]
1. Informal to serve or work in place of (another), esp. so as to give a period of rest to; relieve
2. Chiefly Austral. to give a period of rest to
vi.
Chiefly Austral. to take a period of rest or relief
n.
1. a turn of serving or working in place of another
2. a period or turn of work, duty, etc. [a two-year spell as reporter]
3. a turn, period, or fit of something [a spell of brooding]
4. a period of a specified sort of weather [a cold spell]
5. Informal a period of time that is indefinite, short, or of a specified character
6. Dial. a short distance
7. Informal a period or fit of some illness, indisposition, etc.
8. Chiefly Austral. a period of rest or relief from activity

English World dictionary. . 2014.

Synonyms:

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 — 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