Meaning of spell

spell

Pronunciation: (spel), [key]
— v., spelled spelt, spell•ing.
—v.t.
  1. to name, write, or otherwise give the letters, in order, of (a word, syllable, etc.): Did I spell your name right?
  2. (of letters) to form (a word, syllable, etc.): The letters spelled a rather rude word.
  3. to read letter by letter or with difficulty (often fol. by out): She painfully spelled out the message.
  4. to discern or find, as if by reading or study (often fol. by out).
  5. to signify; amount to: This delay spells disaster for us.
—v.i.
  1. to name, write, or give the letters of words, syllables, etc.: He spells poorly.
  2. to express words by letters, esp. correctly.
  3. to outspell others in a spelling match.
  4. Must I spell it out for you?
    1. to explain something explicitly, so that the meaning is unmistakable:Must I spell it out for you?
    2. to write out in full or enumerate the letters of which a word is composed:The title “Ph.D.” is seldom spelled out.

spell

Pronunciation: (spel), [key]
— n.
  1. a word, phrase, or form of words supposed to have magic power; charm; incantation: The wizard cast a spell.
  2. a state or period of enchantment: She was under a spell.
  3. any dominating or irresistible influence; fascination: the spell of fine music.

spell

Pronunciation: (spel), [key]
— n.
  1. a continuous course or period of work or other activity: to take a spell at the wheel.
  2. a turn of work so taken.
  3. a turn, bout, fit, or period of anything experienced or occurring: a spell of coughing.
  4. an indefinite interval or space of time: Come visit us for a spell.
  5. a period of weather of a specified kind: a hot spell.
  6. a rest period.
  7. a person or set of persons taking a turn of work to relieve another.
—v.t.
  1. to take the place of for a time; relieve: Let me spell you at the wheel.
  2. to declare or give a rest period to.
—v.i.
  1. to have or take a rest period.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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