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  1. of or relating to Spain, its people, or their language.
  1. the Spanish people collectively.
  2. a Romance language, the language of Spain, standard also in most of Latin America except Brazil. Abbreviation: Sp, Sp.

Origin of Spanish

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at Spain, -ish1
Related formsan·ti-Span·ish, adjectivehalf-Span·ish, adjectivenon-Span·ish, adjective, nounpre-Span·ish, adjectivepro-Span·ish, adjectivepseu·do-Span·ish, adjectivequa·si-Span·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spanish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • A deal with the Rothschilds for control of the Spanish mines had fallen through.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • There is much Spanish blazonry also, if I could but read it.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • From her Spanish mother she had learned to please the man, not herself.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Spanish or Portuguese or English; it was always an unhappy ending for the Indians.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The name is a Spanish corruption ofAshiwi, their own name for themselves.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

British Dictionary definitions for spanish


  1. the official language of Spain, Mexico, and most countries of South and Central America except Brazil: also spoken in Africa, the Far East, and elsewhere. It is the native language of approximately 200 million people throughout the world. Spanish is an Indo-European language belonging to the Romance group
  2. the Spanish (functioning as plural) Spaniards collectively
  1. of or relating to the Spanish language or its speakers
  2. of or relating to Spain or Spaniards
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for spanish


c.1200, from Spaine "Spain," from Old French Espaigne (see Spaniard). Replaced Old English Speonisc. For Spanish Main see main. Spanish moss is attested from 1823. Spanish fly, the fabled aphrodisiac (ground-up cantharis blister-beetles), is attested from c.1600. Spanish-American War was so called in British press speculations early 1898, even before it began in April. For Spanish Inquisition (by c.1600), see Inquisition.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper