9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[speyt] /speɪt/
a sudden, almost overwhelming, outpouring:
a spate of angry words.
  1. a flood or inundation.
  2. a river flooding its banks.
  3. a sudden or heavy rainstorm.
Origin of spate
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English (north) < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spate
  • It was only the latest in a spate of collapses at the site, which experts say is in critical condition.
  • Thrill seekers who want to take their camera kit along on adventures have a spate of products to choose from these days.
  • With publishers looking to cut costs, gamers have suffered a spate of server closures over the last year.
  • Many of the new spate of pop-econ page-turners reflect the maturation of economics as an increasingly empirical science.
  • The case is only one of the latest in a spate of similar prosecutions and investigations.
  • His report sparked a spate of controversy among biblical scholars and archaeologists.
  • The temporary injunction helped unleash a spate of publicity about what struck many as a unique domain-name fight.
  • The group has been blamed for a spate of killings in the past month.
  • Or the spate could have resulted from differences in the way converts understood their new religion.
  • The emergence of these candidates has coincided with a spate of local disturbances in different parts of the country.
British Dictionary definitions for spate


a fast flow, rush, or outpouring: a spate of words
(mainly Brit) a sudden flood: the rivers were in spate
(mainly Brit) a sudden heavy downpour
Word Origin
C15 (Northern and Scottish): of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spate

early 15c., originally Scottish and northern English, "a sudden flood, especially one caused by heavy rains or a snowmelt," of unknown origin. Perhaps from Old French espoit "flood," from Dutch spuiten "to flow, spout;" related to spout. Figurative sense of "unusual quantity" is attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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