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The entry for "spade" is displayed below.
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
spade1 /speɪd/USA pronunciation
n., v., spad•ed, spad•ing. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
v. [~ + object]
- Buildinga tool for digging, having a long handle and a narrow metal blade that can be pressed into the ground with the foot.
- to dig, cut, or remove with a spade.
spade•ful, n. [countable],pl. -fuls.
spade2 /speɪd/USA pronunciation
- Idiomscall a spade a spade, to speak truthfully and bluntly:Let's call a spade a spade: I deserved that promotion and you didn't want me to have it.
- Games[countable] a black figure shaped like an upside-down heart with a short stem opposite the point, used on playing cards to mark a suit.
- Games[countable] a card of the suit bearing such figures.
- Gamesspades, the suit so marked: [uncountable; used with a singular verb]Spades has been dealt.[plural; used with a plural verb]Spades were led in the last hand.
- Slang Terms[countable][Slang](disparaging and offensive). a black person.
in spades, [Informal.]
- in the extreme;
to the utmost:He's a hypocrite, in spades.
- without restraint:I told him what I thought of him, in spades.
(spād), n., v., spad•ed, spad•ing.
- Buildinga tool for digging, having an iron blade adapted for pressing into the ground with the foot and a long handle commonly with a grip or crosspiece at the top, and with the blade usually narrower and flatter than that of a shovel.
- Buildingsome implement, piece, or part resembling this.
- Militarya sharp projection on the bottom of a gun trail, designed to dig into the earth to restrict backward movement of the carriage during recoil.
- call a spade a spade, to call something by its real name;
in spades, [Informal.]
be candidly explicit;
speak plainly or bluntly:To call a spade a spade, he's a crook.
- in the extreme; positively:He's a hypocrite, in spades.
- without restraint;
outspokenly:I told him what I thought, in spades.
- to dig, cut, or remove with a spade (sometimes fol. by up):Let's spade up the garden and plant some flowers.
Middle English (noun, nominal);
Old English spadu;
cognate with Dutch spade, German Spaten, Old Norse spathi spade, Greek spáthē broad, flat piece of wood
- Gamesa black figure shaped like an inverted heart and with a short stem at the cusp opposite the point, used on playing cards.
- Gamesa card of the suit bearing such figures.
- (used with a sing. or pl. v.) the suit so marked:Spades is trump. Spades count double.
Slang Terms[Slang](disparaging and offensive). a black person.
- (used with a pl. v.) Casino. the winning of seven spades or more.
- Greek spáthē; see spade1
- Latin spatha
- Italian, plural of spada origin, originally, sword
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
spade /speɪd/ n
- a tool for digging, typically consisting of a flat rectangular steel blade attached to a long wooden handle
- an object or part resembling a spade in shape
- a cutting tool for stripping the blubber from a whale or skin from a carcass
- call a spade a spade ⇒ to speak plainly and frankly
Etymology: Old English spadu; related to Old Norse spathi, Old High German spato, Greek spathē bladeˈspader n
- (transitive) to use a spade on
spade /speɪd/ n
Etymology: 16th Century: from Italian spada sword, used as an emblem on playing cards, from Latin spatha, from Greek spathē blade, broadsword
- the black symbol on a playing card resembling a heart-shaped leaf with a stem
- a card with one or more of these symbols or (when pl) the suit of cards so marked, usually the highest ranking of the four
- a derogatory word for Black1
- in spades ⇒ informal in an extreme or emphatic way