From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishspellspell1 /spel/ ●●● S2 verb (past tense and past participle spelt /spelt/ especially British English or spelled especially American English) 1 [intransitive, transitive]SLWRITE to form a word by writing or naming the letters in order How do you spell ‘juice’? Pupils should know how to spell commonly used words.spell something wrong/wrongly You’ve spelled my name wrong.2 [transitive]WRITE if letters spell a word, they form it B-O-O-K spells ‘book’. 'Love' is spelled L-O-V-E.3 → spell trouble/disaster/danger etc4 [transitive] American EnglishWORK/DO WORKINSTEAD to do someone else’s work for them for a short period so that they can rest I can spell you if you get tired. → spell something ↔ out→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusspell• "B-O-O-K" spells "book."• He always spells his name for secretaries.• Gray also published a book by the same title in which he managed to spell Jon Swain's name incorrectly.• The scale of the catastrophe was spelled out by one speaker after another.• This argument is spelled out in detail in Chapter 19.• These can be spelled out pretty easily on a resume, but the new qualifications can not.• Some deaf children are, however, very proficient at sign language and they can also spell out words using finger spelling.• And your last name is Aitchson? Could your spell that out for me please?• No one thinks this could spell the closure of the firm, but things could be better.• Out-of-town retail developments often spell the death of independent high street shops.• These new rules spell the end of jobs as we have known them.• That spells trouble for the individual, the team, and, perhaps most important, the client.• I've never been able to spell very well in English.• In American English, 'organize' is always spelled with a 'z'.• "How do you spell your name?" "S-M-I-T-H."• How do you spell your surname?spellspell2 ●○○ noun [countable] 1 MAGICa piece of magic that someone does, or the special words or ceremonies used in doing it a magic spellput/cast a spell on somebody (=do a piece of magic to change someone) The kiss of the prince broke the spell (=stopped the magic from working).be under a spell The whole town seemed to be under a spell.2 PERIOD OF TIMEa period of a particular kind of activity, weather, illness etc, usually a short periodbrief/short spell After a brief spell in the army, I returned to teaching.spell of a spell of bad luckcold/wet/dry spell Water the young plants carefully during dry spells. a day of sunny spells and scattered showers He began to suffer from dizzy spells.3 EFFECT/INFLUENCEa power that attracts, interests, and influences you very stronglyfall/come/be under a spell I fell under the spell of her charm. an ancient city that still casts its spell over travellers4 → break the spellCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: a piece of magic that someone does, or the special words or ceremonies used in doing itadjectivesa magic spellShe found an ancient book of magic spells.an evil spellThe people still believe in evil spells.verbscast a spell (on somebody) (=do some magic)Suddenly everyone froze, as if a wizard had cast a spell on them.weave a spell (=do some magic)She wove a spell, so that he slept forever and never grew old.put a spell on somebody (=make magic affect someone)The fairy put a terrible spell on the princess.break a spell (=end the effect of some magic)No one knew how to break the spell. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: a period of a particular kind of activity, weather, illness etc, usually a short periodadjectivesa brief/short spellAfter a brief spell in a florist's shop, she became a hairdresser.a long/prolonged spellWe have just had a long spell of unusually dry weather.a dry/wet spellKeep fuchsias well watered during prolonged dry spells in summer.a cold/warm/hot spellThere was a very cold spell in late November.sunny spellsTuesday will be dry with sunny spells.a dizzy/fainting spell (=one when you feel unable to stand steadily and your head feels unclear)She must have had a dizzy spell and fallen.a good/bad spellThe team had some good spells during the match.a quiet spell (=when not much is happening)We've had quite a quiet spell at work recently.
Examples from the Corpusspell• The Lilac Fairy cast a spell that sent Aurora to sleep.• We are just here for a spell and pass on.• He's had a spell of bad luck recently.• Pick a spell of dry weather and travel light: you could be pleasantly surprised.• When the old man was angry, he threatened to put a spell on the whole tribe.• Carmelina knew that the bird was really the handsome prince under a spell from the wicked witch.• After a brief spell in the army, I returned to teaching.• A black witch, casting spells from her hiding-place in the corner.• We had another cold spell last week.• I've had a few dizzy spells lately.• And in there is the Robemaker's cache of enchantments ... The stockroom of spells ... The necromancer's treasure-house.• I thought that, if we were to meet again, he would remove the spell that he had cast over me.• They were not among the famous and the sought-after who gathered under the spell of the White City.• As a leading suffragette, she endured the first of two spells in Holloway gaol in 1907.be under a spell• It was as though I had no will of my own at the time and was under a spell.• The staff are under a spell.dizzy spells• After Allitt moved out of the Jobsons' home, his dizzy spells, craving for chocolate and sudden collapses had stopped.• The dizzy spells were increasing in frequency.• If they are arthritic, their sight is poor, or they are subject to dizzy spells they may trip over the flex.fall/come/be under a spell• It was as though I had no will of my own at the time and was under a spell.• The staff are under a spell.Origin spell1 (1200-1300) Old French espeller spell2 1. Old English “talk, story”2. (1600-1700) spell “to take the place of another” ((11-21 centuries)), from Old English spelian