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spade

1
[ speyd ]
/ speɪd /
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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.
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Idioms about spade

    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
First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English spadu, spada; cognate with Dutch spade, German Spaten, Old Norse spathi “spade”; akin to Greek spáthē “blade (of a sword, oar), spatula”; perhaps akin to Sanskrit sphyá- “shoulder blade, scapula”

OTHER WORDS FROM spade

spadelike, adjectivespader, nounun·spad·ed, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH spade

spade , spay

Other definitions for spade (2 of 2)

spade2
[ 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
First recorded in 1590–1600; from Italian, plural of spada originally, “sword,” from Latin spatha, from Greek spáthē; see origin at spade1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use spade in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for spade (1 of 2)

spade1
/ (speɪd) /

noun
verb
(tr) to use a spade on

Derived forms of spade

spader, 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)

spade2
/ (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

Other 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.
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