- a simple past tense and past participle of spell1.
- one of the earliest cultivated forms of wheat, Triticum aestivum spelta, native to southern Europe and western Asia, used for livestock feed and as a grain for human consumption.
Origin of spelt2
- to name, write, or otherwise give the letters, in order, of (a word, syllable, etc.): Did I spell your name right?
- (of letters) to form (a word, syllable, etc.): The letters spelled a rather rude word.
- to read letter by letter or with difficulty (often followed by out): She painfully spelled out the message.
- to discern or find, as if by reading or study (often followed by out).
- to signify; amount to: This delay spells disaster for us.
- to name, write, or give the letters of words, syllables, etc.: He spells poorly.
- to express words by letters, especially correctly.
- spell down, to outspell others in a spelling match.
- spell out,
- to explain something explicitly, so that the meaning is unmistakable: Must I spell it out for you?
- to write out in full or enumerate the letters of which a word is composed: The title “Ph.D.” is seldom spelled out.
Origin of spell1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a continuous course or period of work or other activity: to take a spell at the wheel.
- a turn of work so taken.
- a turn, bout, fit, or period of anything experienced or occurring: a spell of coughing.
- an indefinite interval or space of time: Come visit us for a spell.
- a period of weather of a specified kind: a hot spell.
- Australian. a rest period.
- Archaic. a person or set of persons taking a turn of work to relieve another.
- to take the place of for a time; relieve: Let me spell you at the wheel.
- Australian. to declare or give a rest period to.
- Australian. to have or take a rest period.
Origin of spell3
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for spelt
I too was taught the trade of man And spelt the lesson plain; But they, when I forgot and ran, Remembered and remain.Judge Not the Deserters
May 26, 2013
In Domesday it is spelt 'Flaneburg,' and flane is the Norse for an arrow or sword.Yorkshire Painted And Described
But, he had been so careful to get it accurately, that he then spelt it with perfect correctness.A Tale of Two Cities
The word Croydon has been spelt originally with an i, which has been changed to y.
Next day I received her reply, every word of which spelt despair.The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
It is spelt by us with a y in the first syllable, as it was spelt with the corresponding in the Greek.English Past and Present
Richard Chevenix Trench
- a past tense and past participle of spell 1
- a species of wheat, Triticum spelta, that was formerly much cultivated and was used to develop present-day cultivated wheats
- to write or name in correct order the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)
- (tr) (of letters) to go to make up the conventionally established form of (a word) when arranged correctlyd-o-g spells dog
- (tr) to indicate or signifysuch actions spell disaster for our cause
- a verbal formula considered as having magical force
- any influence that can control the mind or character; fascination
- a state induced by or as if by the pronouncing of a spell; tranceto break the spell
- under a spell held in or as if in a spell
- (tr) rare to place under a spell
- an indeterminate, usually short, period of timea spell of cold weather
- a period or tour of duty after which one person or group relieves another
- Scot, Australian and NZ a period or interval of rest
- (tr) to take over from (a person) for an interval of time; relieve temporarily
- spell a paddock NZ to give a field a rest period by letting it lie fallow
Word Origin and History for spelt
Old English spelt, perhaps an early borrowing from Late Latin spelta "spelt" (c.400, noted as a foreign word), which is perhaps ultimately from PIE root *spel- "to split, to break off" (probably in reference to the splitting of its husks in threshing), which is related to the root of flint.
The word had little currency in English, and its history is discontinuous. Widespread in Romanic languages (cf. Italian spelta, Spanish espelta, Old French spelte, Modern French épeautre). The word also is widespread in Germanic (cf. Old High German spelta, German Spelt), and a Germanic language is perhaps the source of the Late Latin word.
"name the letters of," Old English spellian "to tell, speak," infl. by Old French espeller "declare, spell," from Frankish *spellon "to tell;" both Old English and Frankish from Proto-Germanic *spellan (cf. Old High German spellon "to tell," Old Norse spjalla, Gothic spillon "to talk, tell"), from PIE *spel- "to say aloud, recite." Related: Spelled; spelling.
Meaning "write or say the letters of a word" is c.1400, from notion of "read letter by letter, read with difficulty" (c.1300). Spell out "explain step-by-step" is first recorded 1940, American English. Spelling bee is from 1878 (earlier simply spelling, 1860).
"incantation, charm," Old English spell "story, speech," from Proto-Germanic *spellan (cf. Old Norse spjall, Old High German spel, Gothic spill "report, discourse, tale;" German Beispiel "example;" see spell (v.1)). Meaning "set of words with magical powers, incantation, charm" first recorded 1570s.
The term 'spell' is generally used for magical procedures which cause harm, or force people to do something against their will -- unlike charms for healing, protection, etc. ["Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore"]
"work in place of (another)," Old English spelian "to take the place of," related to gespelia "substitute," of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to spilian "to play" (see spiel). Related: Spelled; spelling. The noun meaning "indefinite period of time" first recorded 1706.