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spell - definition and synonyms


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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
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to know the letters of a word in the correct order
    Can you spell the word ‘beautiful’?
    1. a.
      [transitive] to say or write the letters of a word in the correct order
      You’ve spelt my name wrong.
    2. b.
      [intransitive] to have a good knowledge of the way that words are written
      Her writing is neat, but she can’t spell.
  2. 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.
  3. 3
    [transitive] American informal to do someones work for a short time, so that they can rest
    I’d better go spell Mitch for a couple of hours.

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a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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