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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spell \Spell\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spelledor Spelt; p. pr. & vb. n. Spelling.] [OE. spellen, spellien, tell, relate, AS. spellian, fr. spell a saying, tale; akin to MHG. spellen to relate, Goth. spill?n.e Spell a tale. In sense 4 and those following, OE. spellen, perhaps originally a different word, and from or influenced by spell a splinter, from the use of a piece of wood to point to the letters in schools: cf. D. spellen to spell. Cf. Spell splinter.]

  1. To tell; to relate; to teach. [Obs.]

    Might I that legend find, By fairies spelt in mystic rhymes.
    --T. Warton.

  2. To put under the influence of a spell; to affect by a spell; to bewitch; to fascinate; to charm. ``Spelled with words of power.''

    He was much spelled with Eleanor Talbot.
    --Sir G. Buck.

  3. To constitute; to measure. [Obs.]

    The Saxon heptarchy, when seven kings put together did spell but one in effect.

  4. To tell or name in their proper order letters of, as a word; to write or print in order the letters of, esp. the proper letters; to form, as words, by correct orthography.

    The word ``satire'' ought to be spelled with i, and not with y.

  5. To discover by characters or marks; to read with difficulty; -- usually with out; as, to spell out the sense of an author; to spell out a verse in the Bible.

    To spell out a God in the works of creation.

    To sit spelling and observing divine justice upon every accident.


Spelt \Spelt\, imp. & p. p. of Spell. Spelled.


Spelt \Spelt\, n. [AS. spelt, fr. L. spelta.] (Bot.) A species of grain ( Triticum Spelta) much cultivated for food in Germany and Switzerland; -- called also German wheat.


Spelt \Spelt\, n. [See Spalt.] (Metal.) Spelter. [Colloq.]


Spelt \Spelt\, v. t. & i. [See Spell a splinter.] To split; to break; to spalt. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

type of grain, Old English spelt "spelt, corn," perhaps an early borrowing from Late Latin spelta "spelt" (noted as a foreign word), which is perhaps from Germanic *spilt-, from PIE *speld-, extended form of root *spel- (1) "to split, to break off" (probably in reference to the splitting of its husks in threshing); see spill (v.).\n

\nThe word had little currency in English, and its history is discontinuous. Widespread in Romanic languages (Italian spelta, Spanish espelta, Old French spelte, Modern French épeautre). The word also is widespread in Germanic (Old High German spelta, German Spelt), and a Germanic language is perhaps the source of the Late Latin word.


Etymology 1 alt. (context chiefly British English) (en-past of: spell) vb. (context chiefly British English) (en-past of: spell) Etymology 2

n. A grain, considered either a subspecies of wheat, ''Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta'', or a separate species ''Triticum spelt

  1. Etymology 3

    n. 1 (context dialect Northern England Scotland English) A thin piece of wood or metal; a splinter. 2 (context metalworking English) spelter v

  2. (context obsolete English) To split; to break; to spalt.

  1. v. recite the letters of or give the spelling of; "How do you spell this word?"

  2. indicate or signify; "I'm afraid this spells trouble!" [syn: import]

  3. write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word); "He spelled the word wrong in this letter" [syn: write]

  4. place under a spell [ant: unspell]

  5. [also: spelt]


n. hardy wheat grown mostly in Europe for livestock feed [syn: Triticum spelta, Triticum aestivum spelta]

  1. n. a psychological state induced by (or as if induced by) a magical incantation [syn: enchantment, trance]

  2. a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else); "it's my go"; "a spell of work" [syn: go, tour, turn]

  3. a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition; "he was here for a little while"; "I need to rest for a piece"; "a spell of good weather"; "a patch of bad weather" [syn: while, piece, patch]

  4. a verbal formula believed to have magical force; "he whispered a spell as he moved his hands"; "inscribed around its base is a charm in Balinese" [syn: magic spell, charm]

  5. [also: spelt]


See spell


Spelt (Triticum spelta), also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat cultivated since 5000 BC.

Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (Triticum aestivum), in which case its botanical name is considered to be Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta. It is a hexaploid wheat, which means it has six sets of chromosomes.

Usage examples of "spelt".

Whole grains, including cooked cereals and breads made from barley, oats, buckwheat, rice, rye, quinoa, spelt, wheat, and corn.

And he had spelt it out for me in that thick Glaswegian accent of his, explaining that the man was supposed to have been born at Jarra Jarra, in the black quarters there, and named after Weedi Wolli Creek.

Over the perspex board the slogan of the damage-control department spelt out priorities in large capitals: FLOAT - MOVE - FIGHT.

A child who hath just learnt his letters would have spelt this letter out in less time than Jones took in reading it.

He spoke a moment with Spelt, and the major barked an order that brought soldiers forward, urging the exiles to a circumnavigation of the pen.

Fields of winter spelt and rye wrested years ago from the marshlands surrounding the monastic estate had to be dug out again to save the crops.

Neither spoke, not a single word, but one knew herb-craft, and he brought ointments for Sister Petra, a foul brew for those suffering from the cough that relieved their congestion, and a spelt porridge for Mother Obligatia along with sage steeped in wine.

Highly providential was the appearance on the scene of Corny Kelleher when Stephen was blissfully unconscious but for that man in the gap turning up at the eleventh hour the finis might have been that he might have been a candidate for the accident ward or, failing that, the bridewell and an appearance in the court next day before Mr Tobias or, he being the solicitor rather, old Wall, he meant to say, or Mahony which simply spelt ruin for a chap when it got bruited about.

The cab crossed Broadway and Seventh Avenue, plunging through the drenched luminance of massed theatre and cinema and cabaret signs like a swimmer diving through a wave, and floated out on the other side in the calmer channel of faintly odorous gloom in which a red neon tube spelt out the legend: "Charley's Place.

These are just digraphs denoting unitary consonants: ¤ What is spelt hl, hr was originally unvoiced l, r.

But Spurius Maelius, to whom the tribuneship of the plebs was a thing to be wished for rather than hoped for, a wealthy corn-factor, hoped to buy the liberty of his fellow-citizens for a couple of pounds of spelt, and imagined that by throwing a little corn to them he could reduce to slavery the men who had conquered all the neighbouring States, and that he whom the State could hardly stomach as a senator would be tolerated as a king, possessing the power and insignia of Romulus, who had sprung from the gods and been carried back to the gods!

In all the countries bordering the Mediterranean, where it is plentiful, it is spelt with a double 'r,' so the word may be derived from the Italian borra, French bourra, signifying hair or wool, words which in their turn are derived from the Low Latin burra, a flock of wool, in reference to the thick covering of short hairs which clothes the whole plant.

Doubtless many a humble Tarentine spelt it through that evening, with boundless wonder, and thought such an intervention of Providence worthy of being talked about, until the next stabbing case in his street provided a more interesting topic.

To her, monogramming spelt chic, and not to have carried it out identically on everything at once would have been a flaw.

Blood rilled from under the shut door of the chamber, and, rilling, it took from instant to instant the form of dire ciphers that spelt an unspeakable name.