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spate

[ speyt ]
/ speɪt /
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noun

a sudden, almost overwhelming, outpouring: a spate of angry words.
British.
  1. a flood or inundation.
  2. a river flooding its banks.
  3. a sudden or heavy rainstorm.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”

Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of spate

1400–50; late Middle English (north) < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for spate

British Dictionary definitions for spate

spate
/ (speɪt) /

noun

a fast flow, rush, or outpouringa spate of words
mainly British a sudden floodthe rivers were in spate
mainly British a sudden heavy downpour

Word Origin for spate

C15 (Northern and Scottish): of unknown origin
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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