a utensil for use in eating, stirring, measuring, ladling, etc., consisting of a small, shallow bowl with a handle.
any of various implements, objects, or parts resembling or suggesting this.
Also called spoon bait. Angling. a lure used in casting or trolling for fish, consisting of a bright spoon-shaped piece of metal or the like, swiveled above one or more fishhooks, and revolving as it is drawn through the water.
Also called number three wood. Golf. a club with a wooden head whose face has a greater slope than the brassie or driver, for hitting long, high drives from the fairway.
a curved piece projecting from the top of a torpedo tube to guide the torpedo horizontally and prevent it from striking the side of the ship from which it was fired.
verb (used with object)
to eat with, take up, or transfer in or as in a spoon.
to hollow out or shape like a spoon.
to push or shove (a ball) with a lifting motion instead of striking it soundly, as in croquet or golf.
to hit (a ball) up in the air, as in cricket.
to nestle in close contact with (another), as when both are lying on their sides with their knees drawn up, so that the back of one person is tucked into the front of the other, like the bowls of two spoons: He moved over and spooned her, pressing himself gently against her warm back as she slept.
Older Use. to show affection or love toward (someone) by kissing and caressing, especially in an openly sentimental manner.
verb (used without object)
(of two people) to nestle in close contact with one another, as when both are lying on their sides with their knees drawn up, the back of one person tucked into the front of the other like the bowls of two spoons: They spooned without shifting position the whole night through.
Older Use. to show affection or love by kissing and caressing, especially in an openly sentimental manner.
Games. to spoon a ball.
Angling. to fish with a spoon.
born with a silver spoon in one's mouth, born into a wealthy family; having an inherited fortune: She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and never worked a day in her life.

before 900; Middle English; Old English spōn; cognate with Low German spon, German Span chip, Old Norse spōnn; akin to Greek sphḗn wedge

spoonless, adjective
spoonlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
spoon (spuːn)
1.  a metal, wooden, or plastic utensil having a shallow concave part, usually elliptical in shape, attached to a handle, used in eating or serving food, stirring, etc
2.  Also called: spoonbait an angling lure for spinning or trolling, consisting of a bright piece of metal which swivels on a trace to which are attached a hook or hooks
3.  golf a former name for a No. 3 wood
4.  informal a foolish or useless person
5.  (Brit) wooden spoon another name for booby prize
6.  rowing Compare spade a type of oar blade that is curved at the edges and tip to gain a firm grip on the water
7.  be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth to inherit wealth or social standing
8.  (tr) to scoop up or transfer (food, liquid, etc) from one container to another with or as if with a spoon
9.  slang, old-fashioned (intr) to kiss and cuddle
10.  to hollow out (a cavity or spoon-shaped bowl) (in something)
11.  sport to hit (a ball) with a weak lifting motion, as in golf, cricket, etc
[Old English spōn splinter; related to Old Norse spōnn spoon, chip, Old High German spān]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. spon "chip, shaving," from P.Gmc. *spænuz (cf. O.N. spann, sponn "chip, splinter," Swed. spån "a wooden spoon," O.Fris. spon, M.Du. spaen, Du. spaan, O.H.G. span, Ger. Span "chip, splinter"), from PIE *spe- "long, flat piece of wood" (cf. Gk. sphen "wedge"). The meaning "eating utensil"
is c.1300 in Eng., probably from O.N. sponn, which meant "spoon" as well as "chip, tile" (development of the "eating utensil" sense is specific to M.E. and Scand., though M.L.G. spon also meant "wooden spatula"). Spoon-feed is from 1615; fig. sense is attested by 1864. To be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth is from 1801. Spoonbill is attested from 1678, after Du. lepelaar (from lepel "spoon").

1715, "to dish out with a spoon," from spoon (n.). The meaning "court, flirt sentimentally" is first recorded 1831, from slang noun spoon "simpleton" (1799), a fig. use based on the notion of shallowness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see born with a silver spoon; greasy spoon.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


an implement consisting of a small, shallow, bowl-shaped receptacle supported by a handle, used for eating, serving, and cooking foods. Spoons, together with forks, are known as flatware (q.v.).

Learn more about spoon with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The confiscated spoon containing traces of amphetamine is declared forfeit.
The second project describes a catapult that uses a spoon to launch candy
  through the air.
Work the flour mixture into the water with a wooden spoon, or use your hands.
You'll know it's at the right stage if drawing a spoon through the gelatin
  leaves a definite impression.
Images for spoon
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