From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishspadespade /speɪd/ ●●○ noun [countable] 1 DLGa tool for digging that has a long handle and a broad metal blade that you push into the ground → shovel2 (also spades [plural])DGC a playing card belonging to the set of cards that have one or more black shapes that look like pointed leaves printed on them the queen of spades3 → call a spade a spade4 → in spades5 [countable] taboo old-fashionedSANINSULT a very offensive word for a black person. Do not use this word.
Examples from the Corpusspade• And it's no use calling a spade an effing shovel, when saying spade would have been far more effective.• A spade lay half-buried in mud.• The woman stuck her spade in the ground.• Beyond the stables the monotonous sound of Varro's spade went on and on.• The three spades needed when ferreting: the Norfolk long spade, the graft, and the filling-in spade.• I thought the going would be easy after penetrating the surface layers of soil and roots with spade and ax.Origin spade 1. Old English spadu2. (1500-1600) Italian spada or Spanish espada “broad sword” (used as a mark on cards), from Latin spatha; → SPATULA