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.

Primary Meanings of spell

1.
v
write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)
2.
nv
a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition
take turns working
3.
nv
a psychological state induced by (or as if induced by) a magical incantation
place under a spell
Full Definitions of spell
1

v 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
Types:
spell out
spell fully and without abbreviating
hyphen, hyphenate
divide or connect with a hyphen

v 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
Types:
misspell
spell incorrectly
Type of:
recite
repeat aloud from memory

v indicate or signify

“I'm afraid this spells trouble!”
Synonyms:
import
Type of:
intend, mean
mean or intend to express or convey
2

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

“a spell of good weather”
Synonyms:
patch, piece, while
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)

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

“a spell of work”
Synonyms:
go, tour, turn
Type of:
duty period, shift, work shift
the time period during which you are at work

v take turns working

“the workers spell every four hours”
Type of:
alternate, take turns
do something in turns

v relieve (someone) from work by taking a turn

“She spelled her husband at the wheel”
Type of:
relieve, take over
free someone temporarily from his or her obligations
3

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

Synonyms:
enchantment, trance
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

n a verbal formula believed to have magical force

“he whispered a spell as he moved his hands”
Synonyms:
charm, magic spell, magical spell
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

v place under a spell

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

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