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



    BrE BrE//spel//
    ; NAmE NAmE//spel//
    The sun and the moon
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  1. 1  [countable] a short period of time during which something lasts a spell of warm weather a cold/hot/wet/bright, etc. spell There will be rain at first, with sunny spells later. She went to the doctor complaining of dizzy spells. See related entries: The sun and the moon
  2. 2[countable] a period of time doing something or working somewhere She had a spell as a singer before becoming an actress. I spent a brief spell on the Washington Post.
  3. 3[countable] words that are thought to have magic power or to make a piece of magic work; a piece of magic that happens when somebody says these magic words a magic spell a book of spells The wizard recited a spell. to cast/put a spell on somebody to be under a spell (= affected by magic)
  4. 4[singular] a quality that a person or thing has that makes them so attractive or interesting that they have a strong influence on you synonym charm I completely fell under her spell. It was a magic night until the spell was broken. Since last century the spell of the pyramids has drawn tourists to Egypt.
  5. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 late 16th cent.: variant of dialect spele ‘take the place of’, of unknown origin. The early sense of the noun was ‘shift of relief workers’. noun senses 3 to 4 Old English spel(l) ‘narration’, of Germanic origin.Extra examples He’s going through a bit of a bad spell at the moment. She managed to write a letter during a quiet spell at work. She uttered the magic word, and the spell was broken. Sleeping Beauty was under a spell when the prince found her. The audience was completely under his spell. The children began having dizzy spells from hunger. The witch cast a spell on them. This place had woven its spell over them. Viera ended his barren spell with a goal against Parma. a spell of sunny weather the hypnotic spell of the cicadas singing in the trees I completely fell under her spell. She went to the doctor complaining of dizzy spells. Since last century, the spell of the pyramids has drawn tourists to Egypt. We had a spell of warm weather in April. a cold/​hot/​wet/​bright spellIdioms
    weave your magic, weave a spell (over somebody)
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    (especially British English) to perform or behave in a way that is attractive or interesting, or that makes somebody behave in a particular way Will Ronaldo be able to weave his magic against Italy on Wednesday?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spell