Zoology. the mass of eggs deposited by fishes, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, etc.
Mycology. the mycelium of mushrooms, especially of the species grown for the market.
a swarming brood; numerous progeny.
(used with a singular or plural verb) any person or thing regarded as the offspring of some stock, idea, etc.
verb (used without object)
to deposit eggs or sperm directly into the water, as fishes.
verb (used with object)
to produce (spawn).
to give birth to; give rise to: His sudden disappearance spawned many rumors.
to produce in large number.
to plant with mycelium.

1350–1400; Middle English spawnen (v.), probably < Anglo-French espaundre (Old French espandre) to expand

spawner, noun
unspawned, adjective

7. engender, generate, yield, beget. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
spawn (spɔːn)
1.  the mass of eggs deposited by fish, amphibians, or molluscs
2.  derogatory often offspring, product, or yield
3.  botany the nontechnical name for mycelium
4.  (of fish, amphibians, etc) to produce or deposit (eggs)
5.  derogatory often (of people) to produce (offspring)
6.  (tr) to produce or engender
[C14: from Anglo-Norman espaundre, from Old French spandre to spread out, expand]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1413, from Anglo-Fr. espaundre, O.Fr. espandre "to spread out, pour out," from L. expandere (see expand). The notion is of a "spreading out" of fish eggs released in water. The meaning "to engender, give rise to" is attested from 1594. The noun is first recorded c.1430; fig.
sense of "brood, offspring" is from 1590.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
spawn   (spôn)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The eggs of water animals such as fish, amphibians, and mollusks.

  2. Offspring produced in large numbers.

Verb   To lay eggs; produce spawn.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for spawning
When adults are near spawning, they have purple blotchy streaks near the caudal fin.
Spawning males typically grow an elongated snout or kype and have enlarged teeth.
Externally fertilized eggs develop during a synchronized spawning.
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