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spell2

[spel] /spɛl/
noun
1.
a word, phrase, or form of words supposed to have magic power; charm; incantation:
The wizard cast a spell.
2.
a state or period of enchantment:
She was under a spell.
3.
any dominating or irresistible influence; fascination:
the spell of fine music.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English spell, Old English: discourse; cognate with Old High German spel, Old Norse spjall, Gothic spill tale; see spell1, gospel
Related forms
spellful, adjective
spell-like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for spell like

spell1

/spɛl/
verb spells, spelling, spelt, spelled
1.
to write or name in correct order the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word)
2.
(transitive) (of letters) to go to make up the conventionally established form of (a word) when arranged correctly: d-o-g spells dog
3.
(transitive) to indicate or signify: such actions spell disaster for our cause
See also spell out
Derived Forms
spellable, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French espeller, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse spialla to talk, Middle High German spellen

spell2

/spɛl/
noun
1.
a verbal formula considered as having magical force
2.
any influence that can control the mind or character; fascination
3.
a state induced by or as if by the pronouncing of a spell; trance: to break the spell
4.
under a spell, held in or as if in a spell
verb
5.
(transitive) (rare) to place under a spell
Word Origin
Old English spell speech; related to Old Norse spjall tale, Gothic spill, Old High German spel

spell3

/spɛl/
noun
1.
an indeterminate, usually short, period of time: a spell of cold weather
2.
a period or tour of duty after which one person or group relieves another
3.
(Scot & Austral, NZ) a period or interval of rest
verb
4.
(transitive) to take over from (a person) for an interval of time; relieve temporarily
5.
(NZ) spell a paddock, to give a field a rest period by letting it lie fallow
Word Origin
Old English spelian to take the place of, of obscure origin
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 spell like

spell

v.

"name the letters of," Old English spellian "to tell, speak," infl. by Old French espeller "declare, spell," from Frankish *spellon "to tell;" both Old English and Frankish from Proto-Germanic *spellan (cf. Old High German spellon "to tell," Old Norse spjalla, Gothic spillon "to talk, tell"), from PIE *spel- "to say aloud, recite." Related: Spelled; spelling.

Meaning "write or say the letters of a word" is c.1400, from notion of "read letter by letter, read with difficulty" (c.1300). Spell out "explain step-by-step" is first recorded 1940, American English. Spelling bee is from 1878 (earlier simply spelling, 1860).

"work in place of (another)," Old English spelian "to take the place of," related to gespelia "substitute," of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to spilian "to play" (see spiel). Related: Spelled; spelling. The noun meaning "indefinite period of time" first recorded 1706.

n.

"incantation, charm," Old English spell "story, speech," from Proto-Germanic *spellan (cf. Old Norse spjall, Old High German spel, Gothic spill "report, discourse, tale;" German Beispiel "example;" see spell (v.1)). Meaning "set of words with magical powers, incantation, charm" first recorded 1570s.

The term 'spell' is generally used for magical procedures which cause harm, or force people to do something against their will -- unlike charms for healing, protection, etc. ["Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore"]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with spell like

spell

In addition to the idiom beginning with
spell
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for spell

7
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