spell Definition

  • 1to form a word or words with the letters in the correct order
  • 2a period of time during which someone does a particular job or activity
  • 3a short period of bad luck or difficulty

Using spell: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "spell" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    Can you spell your name for me, please?

  • Example

    I'll spell you while you take a break.

  • Example

    She's had a bad spell of flu.

  • Example

    He's been on a winning spell lately.

  • Example

    I'm having trouble with this word. Can you help me spell it?

spell Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with spell

  • a competition in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty


    She won the school spelling bee and will compete in the regional competition next month.

  • to explain something in a clear and detailed way


    Could you spell out exactly what you mean by that?

  • a period of time when things go wrong or are difficult


    I've had a bad spell at work recently.

Origins of spell

from Old English 'spellian', meaning 'to tell, talk'


Summary: spell in Brief

The term 'spell' [spel] can be used as a verb to mean forming words correctly, as in 'Can you spell your name for me, please?' It can also refer to a period of time spent doing a particular activity, as in 'I'll spell you while you take a break.' Additionally, 'spell' can denote a short period of bad luck or difficulty, as in 'She's had a bad spell of flu.'

How do native speakers use this expression?