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spate

[speyt] /speɪt/
noun
1.
a sudden, almost overwhelming, outpouring:
a spate of angry words.
2.
British.
  1. a flood or inundation.
  2. a river flooding its banks.
  3. a sudden or heavy rainstorm.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English (north) < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for spates

spate

/speɪt/
noun
1.
a fast flow, rush, or outpouring: a spate of words
2.
(mainly Brit) a sudden flood: the rivers were in spate
3.
(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
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Word Origin and History for spates

spate

n.

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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