- 1 [transitive] spell something to say or write the letters of a word in the correct order How do you spell your surname? I thought her name was Catherine, but it's Kathryn spelt with a ‘K’.
- 2 [intransitive, transitive] to form words correctly from individual letters I've never been able to spell. spell something + adj. You've spelt my name wrong. see also misspell
- 3 [transitive] spell something (of letters of a word) to form words when they are put together in a particular order C—A—T spells ‘cat’. See related entries: Grammar
- 4[transitive] spell something (for somebody/something) to have something, usually something bad, as a result; to mean something, usually something bad The crop failure spelt disaster for many farmers. This defeat spelt the end of his hopes of winning the title again.
- 5[transitive] spell somebody (North American English, informal) to replace for a short time somebody who is doing a particular activity so that they can rest Carter will be here in an hour to spell you. Word Originverb Middle English: shortening of Old French espeller, from the Germanic base of spell (noun senses 3 and 4).Extra examples ‘Nevaeh’ is ‘heaven’ spelled backwards/backward. Do I really have to spell it out for you? His speech spelled out a clear message to the car industry. Is ‘necessary’ spelled with one ‘s’, or two? She spelled out precisely what she wanted. The article spelled ‘survey’ as ‘servay’. Phrasal Verbsspell somethingout
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BrE BrE//spel//; NAmE NAmE//spel//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they spell
BrE BrE//spel//; NAmE NAmE//spel//he / she / it spells
BrE BrE//spelz//; NAmE NAmE//spelz//past simple spelt
BrE BrE//spelt//; NAmE NAmE//spelt//past participle spelt
BrE BrE//spelt//; NAmE NAmE//spelt//past simple spelled
BrE BrE//speld//; NAmE NAmE//speld//past participle spelled
BrE BrE//speld//; NAmE NAmE//speld//-ing form spelling
BrE BrE//ˈspelɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈspelɪŋ//Grammar