Definitions for: Spell


[n] a verbal formula believed to have magical force; "he whispered a spell as he moved his hands"; "inscribed around its base is a charm in Balinese"
[n] a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else); "it's my go"; "a spell of work"
[n] a psychological state induced by (or as if induced by) a magical incantation
[n] a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition; "he was here for a little while"; "I need to rest for a piece"; "a spell of good weather"
[v] indicate or signify; "I'm afraid this spells trouble!"
[v] recite the letters of or give the spelling of; "How do you spell this word?"
[v] place under a spell
[v] write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word); "He spelled the word wrong in this letter"



Webster (1913) Definition: Spell, n. [OE. speld, AS. speld a spill to light a
candle with; akin to D. speld a pin, OD. spelle, G. spalten
to split, OHG. spaltan, MHG. spelte a splinter, Icel. spjald
a square tablet, Goth. spilda a writing tablet. Cf.
Spillsplinter, roll of paper, Spell to tell the letters
of.]
A spelk, or splinter. [Obs.] --Holland.


Spell, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spelled; p. pr. & vb. n.
Spelling.] [AS. spelian to supply another's place.]
To supply the place of for a time; to take the turn of, at
work; to relieve; as, to spell the helmsman.


Spell, n.
1. The relief of one person by another in any piece of work
or watching; also, a turn at work which is carried on by
one person or gang relieving another; as, a spell at the
pumps; a spell at the masthead.

A spell at the wheel is called a trick. --Ham. Nav.
Encyc.

2. The time during which one person or gang works until
relieved; hence, any relatively short period of time,
whether a few hours, days, or weeks.

Nothing new has happened in this quarter, except the
setting in of a severe spell of cold weather.
--Washington.

3. One of two or more persons or gangs who work by spells.
[R.]

Their toil is so extreme that they can not endure it
above four hours in a day, but are succeeded by
spells. --Garew.

4. A gratuitous helping forward of another's work; as, a
logging spell. [Local, U.S.]


Spell, n.[AS. spell a saying, tale, speech; akin to OS.
& OHG. spel, Icel. spjall,Goth. spill. Cf. Gospel, Spell
to tell the letters of.]
1. A story; a tale. [Obs.] ``Hearken to my spell.''
--Chaucer.

2. A stanza, verse, or phrase supposed to be endowed with
magical power; an incantation; hence, any charm.

Start not; her actions shall be holy as You hear my
spell is lawful. --Shak.


Spell, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spelledor Spelt; p. pr. &
vb. n. Spelling.] [OE. spellen, spellien, tell, relate, AS.
spellian, fr. spell a saying, tale; akin to MHG. spellen to
relate, Goth. spill?n.e Spell a tale. In sense 4 and those
following, OE. spellen, perhaps originally a different word,
and from or influenced by spell a splinter, from the use of a
piece of wood to point to the letters in schools: cf. D.
spellen to spell. Cf. Spell splinter.]
1. To tell; to relate; to teach. [Obs.]

Might I that legend find, By fairies spelt in mystic
rhymes. --T. Warton.

2. To put under the influence of a spell; to affect by a
spell; to bewitch; to fascinate; to charm. ``Spelled with
words of power.'' --Dryden.

He was much spelled with Eleanor Talbot. --Sir G.
Buck.

3. To constitute; to measure. [Obs.]

The Saxon heptarchy, when seven kings put together
did spell but one in effect. --Fuller.

4. To tell or name in their proper order letters of, as a
word; to write or print in order the letters of, esp. the
proper letters; to form, as words, by correct orthography.

The word ``satire'' ought to be spelled with i, and
not with y. --Dryden.

5. To discover by characters or marks; to read with
difficulty; -- usually with out; as, to spell out the
sense of an author; to spell out a verse in the Bible.

To spell out a God in the works of creation.
--South.

To sit spelling and observing divine justice upon
every accident. --Milton.


Spell, v. i.
1. To form words with letters, esp. with the proper letters,
either orally or in writing.

When what small knowledge was, in them did dwell,
And he a god, who could but read or spell. --Dryden.

2. To study by noting characters; to gain knowledge or learn
the meaning of anything, by study. [Obs.]

Where I may sit and rightly spell Of every star that
heaven doth shew, And every herb that sips the dew.
--Milton.

Synonyms: charm, enchantment, go, import, magic spell, piece, tour, trance, turn, while, write

Antonyms: unspell

See Also: bewitch, captivation, conjuration, curse, duty period, enchant, fascination, glamour, hex, hex, hyphen, hyphenate, incantation, intend, jinx, jinx, language, mean, mental state, misspell, oral communication, possession, psychological state, recite, shift, speech, speech communication, spell out, spoken communication, spoken language, time, voice communication, whammy, witch, work shift

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