- a flood or inundation.
- a river flooding its banks.
- a sudden or heavy rainstorm.
Origin of spate
Examples from the Web for spate
In cases such as a spate of recent suicides by adolescents who were bullied on Facebook, the perpetrators were well known.Outed Madeleine McCann Troll Kills Herself. But Millions Live On Online.|Barbie Latza Nadeau|October 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She also blasted the spate of “Katherine Heigl-y type things where women…have no reason to exist other than to get a guy.”‘Clueless’: How the Greatest Clique of the ‘90s Transformed Into A Shakespearean Tragedy|Marlow Stern|May 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This was followed in 2012 by a spate of media articles in the US trying to grab attention using similar headlines.
The protests are also a bonanza for the European Union, which has been suffering from a spate of bad PR recently.Ukraine’s Eurolution Is a PR Godsend for the Struggling E.U.|Vijai Maheshwari|December 11, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Kenya invaded Somalia in response to a spate of kidnappings in the fall of 2011.Slaughter in Nairobi: Bloody Siege in Shopping Mall Kills Dozens|Margot Kiser|September 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The elements roared and rocked; the valley was knee deep already in a spate of waters.Slaves of Mercury|Nat Schachner
It began with a perfect hurricane of wind, then it settled down to rain, till it became a perfect "spate."Our Home in the Silver West|Gordon Stables
But at least he was there to alarm, for its assault, borne down on the spate, would be worse by far than that of the timber.Gilian The Dreamer|Neil Munro
It was a hill stream coming down in spate, and, as I soon guessed, in a deep ravine.Greenmantle|John Buchan
He could boast that he was beaten not by columns but by two rivers in spate.A Handbook of the Boer War|Gale and Polden, Limited
British Dictionary definitions for spate
Word Origin for spate
Word Origin and History for spate
early 15c., originally Scottish and northern English, "a sudden flood, especially one caused by heavy rains or a snowmelt," of unknown origin. Perhaps from Old French espoit "flood," from Dutch spuiten "to flow, spout;" related to spout. Figurative sense of "unusual quantity" is attested from 1610s.