Spick-and-span definition

spĭkən-spăn
New or fresh.
adjective
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Immaculately clean; spotless.
adjective
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(idiomatic) Alternative form of spick-and-span.
adjective
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The definition of spick and span is someone or something that is completely or extremely clean and tidy, with no dirt and nothing out of place.

An example of spick and span is a clean and sterilized hospital room or a room in your home that has just been cleaned and vacuumed from top to bottom.

adjective
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(idiomatic) Clean, spotless; original sense “like new".

I mopped up the kitchen floor so it was spick-and-span.

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Brand-new; fresh.
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Neat and clean.
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Alternative Forms

Alternative Form of spick-and-span - spick and spandy

Origin of spick-and-span

  • Short for obsolete spick and span-new spick spike (variant of spike) span-new

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From spick-and-span-new (literally “new as a recently made spike and chip of wood") (1570s), from spick (“nail") (variant of spike) + Middle English span-new (“very new") (from circa 1300 until 1800s), from Old Norse span-nyr, from spann (“chip") (cognate to Old English spón, Modern English spoon, due to old spoons being made of wood) + nyr (“new") (cognate to Old English nÄ«we, Modern English new). Imitation of Dutch spiksplinter nieuw (literally “spike-splinter new") , for a freshly built ship. Observe that fresh woodchips are firm and light (if from light wood), but decay and darken rapidly, hence the origin of the term.

    From Wiktionary