The definition of a spelling bee is a contest in which participants are given a word and must state what arrangement of letters is used to write that word, according to the dictionary.
An example of a spelling bee is a contest in which a person might be asked to spell "apprehensive" and would have to say "A... P.... P... R... E... H... E... N... S... I... V... E"
a spelling contest, esp. one in which a contestant is eliminated after misspelling a word
A contest in which competitors are eliminated as they fail to spell a given word correctly. Also called spelldown.
(plural spelling bees)