Meaning of spell


A spell is a series of words that has magical powers. If you’re under a spell, then what you do is out of your control — your thoughts and actions are dictated by the spell.

Spell can refer to the magic words you say, or it can describe being under the influence of those words. You probably don’t encounter many magic spells in real life, but the word is often used figuratively to describe those times when you feel like a magical power controls your action. Of course, this word can also mean the verb “to spell” which refers to reciting the letters in a word, like the competitive spellers in a spelling bee.

Definitions of spell
  1. verb

    write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)

    spelled the word wrong in this letter”


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    spell out

    spell fully and without abbreviating
    hyphen, hyphenate

    divide or connect with a hyphen

  2. verb

    orally recite the letters of or give the spelling of

    “”How do you
    spell this word?” “We had to spell out our names for the police officer”

    spell out

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    spell incorrectly
    type of:


    repeat aloud from memory

  3. verb

    indicate or signify

    “I’m afraid this
    spells trouble!”


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    type of:

    intend, mean

    mean or intend to express or convey

  4. noun

    a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition

    spell of good weather”

    bout, patch, piece, while

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    cold snap, cold spell

    a spell of cold weather
    hot spell

    a spell of hot weather

    a spell of cold weather
    type of:


    an indefinite period (usually marked by specific attributes or activities)

  5. noun

    a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else)

    spell of work”

    go, tour, turn

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    type of:

    duty period, shift, work shift

    the time period during which you are at work

  6. verb

    take turns working

    “the workers
    spell every four hours”
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    type of:

    alternate, take turns

    do something in turns

  7. verb

    relieve (someone) from work by taking a turn

    spelled her husband at the wheel”
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    type of:

    relieve, take over

    free someone temporarily from his or her obligations

  8. noun

    a psychological state induced by (or as if induced by) a magical incantation


    enchantment, trance

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    being controlled by passion or the supernatural
    captivation, fascination

    the state of being intensely interested (as by awe or terror)
    type of:

    mental condition, mental state, psychological condition, psychological state

    (psychology) a mental condition in which the qualities of a state are relatively constant even though the state itself may be dynamic

  9. noun

    a verbal formula believed to have magical force

    “he whispered a
    spell as he moved his hands”

    charm, magic spell, magical spell

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    conjuration, incantation

    a ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect
    curse, hex, jinx, whammy

    an evil spell

    an incantation used in conjuring or summoning a devil
    type of:

    language, oral communication, speech, speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice communication

    (language) communication by word of mouth

  10. verb

    place under a spell

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    release from a spell
    type of:

    bewitch, enchant, glamour, hex, jinx, witch

    cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something

Word Family

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