If you're a gardener, you know that a spade is a small shovel with a short handle. A spade is perfect for planting bulbs and digging up weeds.

In addition to a small digging tool, a spade is also a suit of playing card — the black one that looks a bit like an upside-down heart. There's even a card game called "Spades" in which a spade has a higher value than any other suit. The two meanings have different roots; the card suit spade comes from the Greek spathe, and the little shovel kind of spade has Proto-Germanic roots that mean "flat piece of wood."

Definitions of spade
  1. noun
    a sturdy hand shovel that can be pushed into the earth with the foot
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    ditch spade, long-handled spade
    a spade with a long handle for digging narrow ditches
    garden spade
    a spade used by gardeners
    type of:
    hand shovel
    a shovel that is operated by hand
  2. verb
    dig (up) with a spade
    “I spade compost into the flower beds”
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    spade into alternate ridges and troughs
    type of:
    cut into, delve, dig, turn over
    turn up, loosen, or remove earth
  3. noun
    a playing card in the major suit that has one or more black figures on it
    “she led a low spade
    spades were trumps”
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    type of:
    playing card
    one of a pack of cards that are used to play card games
  4. noun
    (ethnic slur) extremely offensive name for a Black person
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    type of:
    Black, Black person, Negro, Negroid, blackamoor
    a person with dark skin who comes from Africa (or whose ancestors came from Africa)
Word Family