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verb spell pronunciation in British English /spel/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participlespelling
past tensespelt or spelled
past participlespelt or spelled
  1. 2
    [transitive] to show that something is going to happen, usually something bad

    The news spelled the death of the US car industry.

    spell disaster/trouble:

    There's a determined look about him which can only spell trouble for his rivals.

  2. 3
    [transitive] American informal to do someone's work for a short time, so that they can rest

    I'd better go spell Mitch for a couple of hours.

phrasal verbs


a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

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selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

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