|1.||a tool for digging, typically consisting of a flat rectangular steel blade attached to a long wooden handle|
|2.||a. an object or part resembling a spade in shape|
|b. (as modifier): a spade beard|
|3.||a heavy metallic projection attached to the trail of a gun carriage that embeds itself into the ground and so reduces recoil|
|4.||Compare spoon a type of oar blade that is comparatively broad and short|
|5.||a cutting tool for stripping the blubber from a whale or skin from a carcass|
|6.||call a spade a spade to speak plainly and frankly|
|7.||(tr) to use a spade on|
|[Old English spadu; related to Old Norse spathi, Old High German spato, Greek spathē blade]|
|1.||a. the black symbol on a playing card resembling a heart-shaped leaf with a stem|
|b. a card with one or more of these symbols or (when pl) the suit of cards so marked, usually the highest ranking of the four|
|2.||a derogatory word for Black|
|3.||informal in spades in an extreme or emphatic way|
|[C16: from Italian spada sword, used as an emblem on playing cards, from Latin spatha, from Greek spathē blade, broadsword]|
"The invitations to the musicale came sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes." [O.Henry, "Cabbages & Kings," 1904]Derogatory meaning "black person" is 1928, from the color of the playing card symbol.
trick-taking card game of the whist family that became very popular in the United States in the 1990s, though reportedly some 40 years old by that time. It is played by four players in bridge-style partnerships, each being dealt 13 cards one at a time from a standard 52-card deck. Spades are always the trump suit.
Learn more about spades with a free trial on Britannica.com.