spade

1
[ speyd ]
/ speɪd /

noun

a tool for digging, having an iron blade adapted for pressing into the ground with the foot and a long handle commonly with a grip or crosspiece at the top, and with the blade usually narrower and flatter than that of a shovel.
some implement, piece, or part resembling this.
a sharp projection on the bottom of a gun trail, designed to dig into the earth to restrict backward movement of the carriage during recoil.

verb (used with object), spad·ed, spad·ing.

to dig, cut, or remove with a spade (sometimes followed by up): Let's spade up the garden and plant some flowers.

Idioms

    call a spade a spade, to call something by its real name; be candidly explicit; speak plainly or bluntly: To call a spade a spade, he's a crook.
    in spades, Informal.
    1. in the extreme; positively: He's a hypocrite, in spades.
    2. without restraint; outspokenly: I told him what I thought, in spades.

Origin of spade

1
before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English spadu; cognate with Dutch spade, German Spaten, Old Norse spathi spade, Greek spáthē broad, flat piece of wood
Related formsspade·like, adjectivespad·er, nounun·spad·ed, adjective
Can be confusedspade spay

Definition for spade (2 of 2)

spade

2
[ speyd ]
/ speɪd /

noun

a black figure shaped like an inverted heart and with a short stem at the cusp opposite the point, used on playing cards.
a card of the suit bearing such figures.
spades,
  1. (used with a singular or plural verb) the suit so marked: Spades is trump. Spades count double.
  2. (used with a plural verb)Casino. the winning of seven spades or more.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.

Origin of spade

2
1590–1600; < Italian, plural of spada orig., sword < Latin spatha < Greek spáthē; see spade1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spade

  • Pappy, I thought you 'uz goin' to git 'at long bed all spade' up fer me by noon.

    Seventeen|Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for spade (1 of 2)

spade

1
/ (speɪd) /

noun

verb

(tr) to use a spade on
Derived Formsspader, noun

Word Origin for spade

Old English spadu; related to Old Norse spathi, Old High German spato, Greek spathē blade

British Dictionary definitions for spade (2 of 2)

spade

2
/ (speɪd) /

noun

  1. the black symbol on a playing card resembling a heart-shaped leaf with a stem
  2. a card with one or more of these symbols or (when pl) the suit of cards so marked, usually the highest ranking of the four
a derogatory word for Black
in spades informal in an extreme or emphatic way

Word Origin for spade

C16: from Italian spada sword, used as an emblem on playing cards, from Latin spatha, from Greek spathē blade, broadsword
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

Idioms and Phrases with spade

spade


see call a spade a spade; do the spadework; in spades.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.