Definition of spate noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//speɪt//
; NAmE NAmE//speɪt//
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  • [usually singular] spate of something a large number of things, which are usually unpleasant, that happen suddenly within a short period of time The bombing was the latest in a spate of terrorist attacks. a recent spate of killings/thefts
  • Word Originlate Middle English (originally Scots and northern English in the sense ‘flood, inundation’): of unknown origin.Idioms (especially British English) (of a river) containing more water and flowing more strongly than usual After heavy rain, the river was in spate. (figurative) Celia was in full spate (= completely involved in talking and not likely to stop or able to be interrupted).
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spate