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)
    “He spelled the word wrong in this letter”
    synonyms: write
    see moresee less
    types:
    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”
    synonyms: spell out
    see moresee less
    types:
    misspell
    spell incorrectly
    type of:
    recite
    repeat aloud from memory
  3. verb
    indicate or signify
    “I'm afraid this spells trouble!”
    synonyms: import
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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
    “a spell of good weather”
    synonyms: bout, patch, piece, while
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    types:
    cold snap, cold spell
    a spell of cold weather
    hot spell
    a spell of hot weather
    snap
    a spell of cold weather
    type of:
    time
    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)
    “a spell of work”
    synonyms: go, tour, turn
    see moresee less
    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”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    alternate, take turns
    do something in turns
  7. verb
    relieve (someone) from work by taking a turn
    “She 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
    synonyms: enchantment, trance
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    types:
    possession
    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”
    synonyms: charm, magic spell, magical spell
    see moresee less
    types:
    conjuration, incantation
    a ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect
    curse, hex, jinx, whammy
    an evil spell
    invocation
    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
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    unspell
    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