- The definition of a spell is a word or words which are supposed to hold magical power, an influence that cannot be resisted, or a trance.
- An example of a spell is saying "abracadabra."
- An example of a spell is the charm of a prince on a princess in a fairytale.
- An example of a spell is a person with their eyes open, but unconscious.
- Spell is defined as saying each of the letters in a word.
An example of spell is a child telling his teacher the letters that make up a specific word.
spell definition by Webster's New World
- a word, formula, or form of words thought to have some magic power; incantation
- seemingly magical power or irresistible influence; charm; fascination
- a trance
Origin: Middle English ; from Old English a saying, tale, charm, akin to Gothic spill, tale ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European base an unverified form (s)pel-, to speak loudly
- 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.
- to make up, or form (a word, etc.): said of specified letters
- to signify; mean: hard work spelled success
Origin: Middle English spellen ; from Old French espeller, to explain, relate ; from Frankish an unverified form spellōn, akin to spell
- Informal to serve or work in place of (another), esp. so as to give a period of rest to; relieve
- Chiefly Austral. to give a period of rest to
Origin: Middle English spelien ; from Old English spelian, to substitute for, akin to spala, a substitute
- a turn of serving or working in place of another
- a period or turn of work, duty, etc.: a two-year spell as reporter
- a turn, period, or fit of something: a spell of brooding
- a period of a specified sort of weather: a cold spell
- Informal a period of time that is indefinite, short, or of a specified character
- ☆ Dialectal a short distance
- Informal a period or fit of some illness, indisposition, etc.
- Chiefly Austral. a period of rest or relief from activity
spell definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb spelled spelled or spelt , spell·ing, spells verb, transitive
- To name or write in order the letters constituting (a word or part of a word).
- To constitute the letters of (a word): These letters spell animal.
- To add up to; signify: Their unwise investment could spell financial ruin.
Origin: Middle English spellen, to read letter by letter, from Old French espeller, of Germanic origin.
- a. A word or formula believed to have magic power.b. A bewitched state; a trance.
- A compelling attraction; charm or fascination: the spell of the theater.
Origin: Middle English, discourse, from Old English.
- A short, indefinite period of time.
- Informal A period of weather of a particular kind: a dry spell.
- a. One's turn at work.b. A period of work; a shift.
- Australian A period of rest.
- Informal A period of physical or mental disorder or distress: a dizzy spell.
- Informal A short distance.
- To relieve (someone) from work temporarily by taking a turn.
- To allow to rest a while.
- To take turns working.
- Australian To rest for a time from an activity.
Origin: From Middle English spelen, to spare, from Old English spelian, to represent, substitute for.
spell - Phrases/Idioms
cast a spell on
- to put into, or as into, a trance
- to win the complete affection of
under a spell
- to read letter by letter or with difficulty
- to make out, or discern, as if by close reading
- â to explain exactly and in detail