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[speyd-foo l] /ˈspeɪd fʊl/
noun, plural spadefuls.
the amount that can be dug out with or carried on a spade.
Origin of spadeful
1635-45; spade1 + -ful Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spadeful
Historical Examples
  • He was digging in his garden, and every spadeful of mould that he threw up laid bare handfuls of golden coins or sparkling stones.

    The Strange Story Book Mrs. Andrew Lang
  • When a spadeful of the clay was turned up it glittered all over.

  • Then a spadeful of earth was dropped upon his chest and he was dead-living dead.

  • spadeful after spadeful of earth was thrown out, but still the bottom was not reached.

    A Noble Woman Ann S. Stephens
  • If a spade is used in digging, the spade wastes in proportion to every spadeful of earth it is made to lift.

  • "No he ain't," said Sneak, throwing up a spadeful of flint stones.

    Wild Western Scenes John Beauchamp Jones
  • Then Denis tried another little hole in the middle, and this time the third spadeful was different from the other two.

    Denis Dent Ernest W. Hornung
  • Yesterday a spadeful of diamonds dumped upon a velvet cloth was only a spadeful of diamonds to him, and it was nothing more.

    What Will People Say? Rupert Hughes
  • Up comes a spadeful of earth and quartz that is all lovely with soiled lumps and leaves and sprays of gold.

    Roughing It Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • He made a sign to the drummer, who handed him a paddle, with which he turned over a spadeful of earth.

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