spell1/spɛl/USA pronunciationv.,spelled or spelt/spɛlt/USA pronunciation spell•ing.
Linguisticsto name, write, or otherwise give the letters, in order, of (a word, syllable, etc.): [~ + object]Did I spell your name right?[no object]How did you learn to spell so well?
Linguistics, (of letters) to form (a word, syllable, etc.):[not: be + ~-ing; ~ + object]Y-e-s spells yes.
to read or say (a word) letter by letter or with difficulty: [~ + out + object]Spell out your name for me.[~ + object + out]to spell some words out.
to signify; amount to; mean or signal:[not: be + ~-ing; ~ + object]This delay spells disaster for the business.
spell out, to explain something plainly: [~ + object + out]Must I spell it out for you? Our engagement is broken![~ + out + object]Would someone spell out for me just what this crisis will do to our company?
spell1(spel),USA pronunciationv.,spelled or spelt, spell•ing. v.t.
Linguisticsto name, write, or otherwise give the letters, in order, of (a word, syllable, etc.):Did I spell your name right?
Linguistics, (of letters) to form (a word, syllable, etc.):The letters spelled a rather rude word.
to read letter by letter or with difficulty (often fol. by out):She painfully spelled out the message.
to discern or find, as if by reading or study (often fol. by out).
to signify; amount to:This delay spells disaster for us.
Linguisticsto name, write, or give the letters of words, syllables, etc.:He spells poorly.
Linguisticsto express words by letters, esp. correctly.
Educationspell down, to outspell others in a spelling match.
to explain something explicitly, so that the meaning is unmistakable:Must I spell it out for you?
to write out in full or enumerate the letters of which a word is composed:The title "Ph.D.'' is seldom spelled out.
Gmc; compare Old English spellian to talk, announce (derivative of spellspell2), Old High German -spellōn, Old Norse spjalla, Gothic spillōn
Old French espeller
Middle English spellen 1250–1300
5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged foretell, portend, mean, promise.
a word, phrase, or form of words supposed to have magic power; charm; incantation:The wizard cast a spell.
a state or period of enchantment:She was under a spell.
any dominating or irresistible influence; fascination:the spell of fine music.
bef. 900; Middle English spell, Old English: discourse; cognate with Old High German spel, Old Norse spjall, Gothic spill tale; see spell1, gospel
a continuous course or period of work or other activity:to take a spell at the wheel.
a turn of work so taken.
a turn, bout, fit, or period of anything experienced or occurring:a spell of coughing.
an indefinite interval or space of time:Come visit us for a spell.
a period of weather of a specified kind:a hot spell.
British Terms[Australian.]a rest period.
[Archaic.]a person or set of persons taking a turn of work to relieve another.
to take the place of for a time; relieve:Let me spell you at the wheel.
British Terms[Australian.]to declare or give a rest period to.
British Terms[Australian.]to have or take a rest period.
1585–95; (verb, verbal) alteration of earlier spele to stand instead of, relieve, spare, Middle English spelen, Old English spelian; akin to Old English spala, gespelia a substitute; (noun, nominal) akin to the verb, verbal (perh. continuing Old English gespelia)
4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged while, bit, piece.