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[spik-uh n-span] /ˈspɪk ənˈspæn/
spotlessly clean and neat:
a spick-and-span kitchen.
perfectly new; fresh.
in a spick-and-span manner.
Origin of spick-and-span
1570-80; short for spick-and-span-new, alliterative extension of span-new Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spick-and-span
Historical Examples
  • I doubt if Sir Francis had it all so spick-and-span—for in his day we were very nearly as far from lawn mowers as from turbines.

  • The spick-and-span occupants of the reception bureau evidently regarded him as Room Number So-and-so.

  • But give me the sububs and stucco, smart villas, and spick-and-span shops.

  • The captain looked suspiciously from the two grimy travellers to the spick-and-span Englishmen in golfing costume.

  • “I never realised before what a spick-and-span person you were,” she observed.

    Jacob's Ladder

    E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • They were driven by coachmen who, as well as the guards behind, were arrayed in spick-and-span new scarlet and gold.

    The Royal Mail James Wilson Hyde
  • But there were ower-mony great folks dipped in the same doings to make a spick-and-span new warld.

  • spick-and-span, he might have stepped out of a glass case, and this was his invariable appearance.

    The Pagan's Cup Fergus Hume
  • But I looked down at him—spick-and-span and glossy—his neckties are never crooked—and said, yes, he might come at three o'clock.

  • Everything was as spick-and-span as the beetles in an entomological case, for Crevel lived very little at home.

    Cousin Betty Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for spick-and-span


extremely neat and clean
new and fresh
Word Origin
C17: shortened from spick-and-span-new, from obsolete spick spike, nail + span-new
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
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