For the verb: "to spell"

Simple Past: spelled, spelt
Past Participle: spelled, spelt

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
spell1 /spɛl/USA pronunciation   v.,  spelled or spelt/spɛlt/USA pronunciation  spell•ing. 
  1. 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?
  2. Linguistics, (of letters) to form (a word, syllable, etc.):[not: be + ~-ing;  ~ + object]Y-e-s spells yes.
  3. 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.
  4. to signify;
    amount to;
    mean or signal:[not: be + ~-ing;  ~ + object]This delay spells disaster for the business.
  5. 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?

spell2 /spɛl/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a word or phrase believed to have magic power;
    an incantation:uttering charms and spells.
  2. a state or period of enchantment caused by magic power:living under a spell.
  3. any strong influence;
    fascination:[usually: singular]under the spell of music.

spell3 /spɛl/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a continuous period of activity:You've been driving all day; let someone else take a spell at the wheel.
  2. a bout or fit of anything experienced:a spell of coughing.
  3. an indefinite period:Come visit us for a spell.
  4. a period of weather of a certain kind:a hot spell.

v. [+ object]
  1. to take the place of for a time;
    relieve:Let me spell you at the wheel.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
spell1  (spel),USA pronunciation v.,  spelled  or spelt, spell•ing. 
  1. Linguisticsto name, write, or otherwise give the letters, in order, of (a word, syllable, etc.):Did I spell your name right?
  2. Linguistics, (of letters) to form (a word, syllable, etc.):The letters spelled a rather rude word.
  3. to read letter by letter or with difficulty (often fol. by out):She painfully spelled out the message.
  4. to discern or find, as if by reading or study (often fol. by out).
  5. to signify;
    amount to:This delay spells disaster for us.

  1. Linguisticsto name, write, or give the letters of words, syllables, etc.:He spells poorly.
  2. Linguisticsto express words by letters, esp. correctly.
  3. Educationspell down, to outspell others in a spelling match.
  4. spell out: 
    • 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.
spella•ble, adj. 
  • Gmc; compare Old English spellian to talk, announce (derivative of spell spell2), 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.

spell2 (spel),USA pronunciation  n. 
  1. a word, phrase, or form of words supposed to have magic power;
    incantation:The wizard cast a spell.
  2. a state or period of enchantment:She was under a spell.
  3. any dominating or irresistible influence;
    fascination:the spell of fine music.
spellful, adj. 
spell-like′, adj. 
  • bef. 900; Middle English spell, Old English: discourse; cognate with Old High German spel, Old Norse spjall, Gothic spill tale; see spell1, gospel

spell3 (spel),USA pronunciation  n. 
  1. a continuous course or period of work or other activity:to take a spell at the wheel.
  2. a turn of work so taken.
  3. a turn, bout, fit, or period of anything experienced or occurring:a spell of coughing.
  4. an indefinite interval or space of time:Come visit us for a spell.
  5. a period of weather of a specified kind:a hot spell.
  6. British Terms[Australian.]a rest period.
  7. [Archaic.]a person or set of persons taking a turn of work to relieve another.

  1. to take the place of for a time;
    relieve:Let me spell you at the wheel.
  2. British Terms[Australian.]to declare or give a rest period to.

  1. 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.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

spell /spɛl/ vb (spells, spelling, spelt, spelled)
  1. to write or name in correct order the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)
  2. (transitive) (of letters) to go to make up the conventionally established form of (a word) when arranged correctly: d-o-g spells dog
  3. (transitive) to indicate or signify: such actions spell disaster for our cause

See also spell outEtymology: 13th Century: from Old French espeller, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse spialla to talk, Middle High German spellen

ˈspellable adj
spell /spɛl/ n
  1. a verbal formula considered as having magical force
  2. any influence that can control the mind or character; fascination
  3. a state induced by or as if by the pronouncing of a spell; trance: to break the spell
  4. under a spellheld in or as if in a spell
  1. (transitive) rare to place under a spell
Etymology: Old English spell speech; related to Old Norse spjall tale, Gothic spill, Old High German spel
spell /spɛl/ n
  1. an indeterminate, usually short, period of time: a spell of cold weather
  2. a period or tour of duty after which one person or group relieves another
  3. Scot Austral NZ a period or interval of rest
  1. (transitive) to take over from (a person) for an interval of time; relieve temporarily
Etymology: Old English spelian to take the place of, of obscure origin

'spell' also found in these entries:

Word of the day: Intermediate+ burst

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