English dictionary

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English noun: spell

1. spell (state) a psychological state induced by (or as if induced by) a magical incantation

Synonymsenchantment, trance

Broader (hypernym)mental condition, mental state, psychological condition, psychological state

Narrower (hyponym)captivation, fascination, possession

2. spell (time) a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else)

SamplesIt's my go.
A spell of work.

Synonymsgo, tour, turn

Broader (hypernym)duty period, shift, work shift

3. spell (time) a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition

SamplesHe was here for a little while.
I need to rest for a piece.
A spell of good weather.
A patch of bad weather.

Synonymspatch, piece, while

Broader (hypernym)time

Narrower (hyponym)cold snap, cold spell, hot spell, snap

4. spell (communication) a verbal formula believed to have magical force

SamplesHe whispered a spell as he moved his hands.
Inscribed around its base is a charm in Balinese.

Synonymscharm, magic spell, magical spell

Broader (hypernym)language, oral communication, speech, speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice communication

Narrower (hyponym)conjuration, curse, hex, incantation, jinx, whammy

English verb: spell

1. spell (communication) orally recite the letters of or give the spelling of

SamplesHow do you spell this word?.
We had to spell out our names for the police officer.

Synonymsspell out

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)recite

Narrower (hyponym)misspell

2. spell (communication) indicate or signify

SamplesI'm afraid this spells trouble!.


Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)intend, mean

3. spell (creation) write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)

SamplesHe spelled the word wrong in this letter.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Narrower (hyponym)hyphen, hyphenate, spell out

4. spell (social) relieve (someone) from work by taking a turn

SamplesShe spelled her husband at the wheel.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)relieve, take over

5. spell (communication) place under a spell

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)bewitch, enchant, glamour, hex, jinx, witch


6. spell (change) take turns working

SamplesThe workers spell every four hours.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)alternate, take turns

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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