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[spey] /speɪ/
verb (used with object), Veterinary Medicine
to remove the ovaries of (an animal).
Origin of spay1
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English spayen < Anglo-French espeïer to cut with a sword (Old French espeer), derivative of espee sword; see épée
Related forms
unspayed, adjective
Can be confused
spade, spayed. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spayed
  • She is spayed, totally housebroken and was taught to sleep in a crate as well as nap there when her owner leaves.
  • Dogs don't have to be spayed or neutered, but if they aren't, they cannot be allowed to play with other dogs.
  • Also, dogs that are not spayed and neutered often exhibit aggressive behavior.
  • Dixie is spayed, chipped and up to ate on her shots.
  • She also cited numerous studies proving that spayed or neutered pets are healthier and less prone to problem behaviors.
  • However, since some dogs cannot be spayed or neutered for certain reasons, this ordinance has exemptions for these cases.
  • If the dog is spayed or neutered, proof must be provided.
  • Owners of spayed and neutered dogs receive a discount on their license fee.
  • There are many benefits of having your dog spayed or neutered.
  • If your dog has been spayed or neutered, you will receive a discounted license fee.
British Dictionary definitions for spayed


(transitive) to remove the ovaries, and usually the uterus, from (a female animal)
Word Origin
C15: from Old French espeer to cut with the sword, from espee sword, from Latin spatha
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 spayed



early 15c., "stab with a sword, kill," also "remove the ovaries of," from Anglo-French espeier "cut with a sword," from Middle French espeer, from Old French espee "sword" (French épée), from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathe "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spayed in Medicine

spay (spā)
v. spayed, spay·ing, spays
To surgically remove the ovaries of an animal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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