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[spin-ee] /ˈspɪn i/
noun, plural spinneys. British.
a small wood or thicket.
Origin of spinney
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French espinei (masculine), espinaie (feminine) a place full of thorns, derivative of espine spine; compare Late Latin spīnētum difficulty, equivalent to Latin spīn(a) thorn (see spine) + -ētum noun suffix (see arboretum) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spinney
Historical Examples
  • As I got to that spinney at the edge of the quarry, I saw Mallalieu and our clerk.

    The Borough Treasurer Joseph Smith Fletcher
  • Do you remember long ago at the gate over there leading to Drake's spinney?

    Dross Henry Seton Merriman
  • The countryside would be scoured; no stone left unturned, no spinney unbeaten.

    Once Aboard The Lugger Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
  • So farewell, spinney; I have promised myself that I will never enter it again.

  • Beneath us, the spires of the poplars in the spinney were warm gold, as if the blood shone through.

    The White Peacock D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • So they went on to where they could climb the fence into the spinney.

    The White Peacock D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • The spinney is cut down to the stumps—even the lilacs and the syringas, to the stumps.

  • By Jove, you did hop into that roofless house and scamper out of that spinney!

    The Red Horizon Patrick MacGill
  • "But that spinney is elected all the same," she said, dejectedly.

  • After that the spinney just off the road, and the welcome presence of Tony, Hastings, and the horses.

    El Dorado Baroness Orczy
British Dictionary definitions for spinney


(mainly Brit) a small wood or copse
Word Origin
C16: from Old French espinei, from espine thorn, from Latin spīna
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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Word Origin and History for spinney

1590s, from Old French espinei (Modern French épinaie) "place full of thorns and brambles," from espine (see spine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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