Dictionary: SPEED'Y – SPE'RA-BLE

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  1. Quick; swift; nimble; hasty rapid in motion; as, a speedy flight; on speedy foot. – Shak.
  2. Quick in performance; not dilatory or slow; as, a speedy dispatch of business.

SPEET, v.t. [G. speeten; from the root of spit.]

To stab. [Not in use.]


A woodpecker. [Not in use or local.]

SPELK, n. [Sax. spelc.]

A splinter; a small stick or rod used in thatching. [Rare.] – Grose.

SPELL, n. [Sax. spel or spell, a story, narration, fable, speech, saying, fame, report, sudden rumor, a magic charm or song. Hence gospel, Sax. god-spell; In G. spiel is play, sport; spielen, to play, D. speelen, Sw. spela, Dan. spiller. But this is a different application of the same action. The verb primarily signifies to throw or drive, and is probably formed on the root of L. pello, Gr. βαλλω. See Peal and Appeal, and Class Bl, No. 1, Eth. In some of the applications of spell, we observe the sense of turn. We observe the same in throw, warp, cant, &c.]

  1. A story; a tale. [Obs.] – Chaucer.
  2. A charm consisting of some words of occult power. Start not; her actions shall be holy; / You hear my spell is lawful. – Shak. Begin, begin, the mystic spell prepare. – Milton.
  3. A turn of work; relief; turn of duty. Take a spell at the pump. – Seamen. Their toil is so extreme, that they can not endure it above four hours in a day, but are succeeded by spells. – Carew.
  4. In New England, a short time; a little time. [Not elegant.]
  5. A turn of gratuitous labor, sometimes accompanied with presents. People give their neighbors a spell. – N. England.

SPELL, v.i.

  1. To form words with the proper letters, either in reading or writing. He knows not how to spell. Our orthography is so irregular that most persons never learn to spell.
  2. To read. – Milton.

SPELL, v.t. [pret. and pp. spelled or spelt. Sax. spellian, spelligan, to tell, to narrate, to discourse, which gives our sense of spell in reading letters; spelian, speligan, to take another's turn in labor; D. spellen, to spell, as words; Fr. epeler.]

  1. To tell or name the letters of a word, with a proper division of syllables, for the purpose of learning the pronunciation. In this manner children learn to read by first spelling the words.
  2. To write or print with the proper letters; to form words by correct orthography. The word satire ought to be spelled with i, and not with y. – Dryden.
  3. To take another's place or turn temporarily in any labor or service. [This is a popular use of the word in New England.]
  4. To charm; as, spelled with words of power. – Dryden.
  5. To read; to discover by characters or marks; write out; as, to spell out the sense of an author. – Milton. We are not left to spell out a God in the works of creation. – South.
  6. To tell; to relate; to teach. [Not in use.] – Wotton.

SPELL'ED, or SPELT, v. [pret and pp. of Spell.]


One that spells; one skilled in spelling.


  1. The act of naming the letters of a word, or the act of writing or printing words with their proper letters.
  2. Orthography: the manner of forming words with letters. Bad spelling is disreputable to a gentleman.


  1. Naming the letters of a word, or writing them; forming words with their proper letters.
  2. Taking another's turn.


A book for teaching children to spell and read.


A land of spells or charms. – Mrs. Butler.

SPELT, n. [Sax. spelte; D. spelte; G. spelz; It. spelda, spelta.]

A species of grain of the genus Triticum; called also German wheat. – Encyc.

SPELT, v.t. [G. spalten; Dan. spilder.]

To split. [Not in use.] – Mortimer.

SPEL'TER, n. [G. and D. spiauter.]

Natural impure zink, which contains a portion of lead, copper, iron, a little arsenic, manganese and plumbago. – Webster's Manual.

SPENCE, n. [spens; Old Fr. dispense.]

A buttery; a larder; a place where provisions are kept. [Obs.] – Chaucer.


  1. Ono who has the care of the spence or buttery. [Obs.]
  2. A kind of short coat.

SPEND, v.i.

  1. To make expense; to make disposition of money. He spends like a prudent man.
  2. To be lost or wasted; to vanish; to be dissipated. The sound spendeth and is dissipated in the open air. – Bacon.
  3. To prove in the use. Butter spent as if it came from the richer soil. – Temple.
  4. To be consumed. Candles spend fast in a current of air. Our provisions spend rapidly.
  5. To be employed to any use. The vines they use for wine are so often cut, that their sap spendeth into the grapes. [Unusual.] – Bacon.

SPEND, v.t. [pret. and pp. spent. Sax. spendan; Sw. spendera; Dan. spanderer; It. spendere; L. expendo, from the participle of which is Fr. depenser; from the root of L. pando, pendeo, the primary sense of which is to strain, to open or spread; allied to span, pane, &c. and probably to Gr. σπενδω, to pour out.]

  1. To lay out; to dispose of; to part with; as, to spend money for clothing. Why do ye spend money for that which is not bread? – Is. iv.
  2. To consume; to waste; to squander; as, to spend an estate in gaming or other vices.
  3. To consume; to exhaust. The provisions were spent, and the troops were in want.
  4. To bestow for any purpose; often with on or upon. It is folly to spend words in debate on trifles.
  5. To effuse. [Little used.] – Shak.
  6. To pass, as time; to suffer to pass away. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. – Job xiii.
  7. To lay out; to exert or to waste; as, to spend one's strength.
  8. To exhaust of force; to waste; to wear away; as, a ball had spent its force. The violence of the waves was spent. Heaps of spent arrows fall and strew the ground. – Dryden.
  9. To exhaust of strength; to harass; to fatigue. Their bodies spent with long labor and thirst. – Knolles.


One that spends; also, a prodigal; a lavisher. – Taylor. Bacon.


The act of laying out, expending, consuming or wasting. – Whitlock.


Laying out; consuming; wasting; exhausting.

SPEND'THRIFT, n. [spend and thrift.]

One who spends money profusely or improvidently; a prodigal; one who lavishes his estate. – Dryden. Swift.

SPE'RA-BLE, a. [L. sperabilis, from spero, to hope.]

That may be hoped. [Not in use.] – Bacon.