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[spoon] /spun/
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.
  1. to push or shove (a ball) with a lifting motion instead of striking it soundly, as in croquet or golf.
  2. 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.
Origin of spoon
before 900; Middle English; Old English spōn; cognate with Low German spon, German Span chip, Old Norse spōnn; akin to Greek sphḗn wedge
Related forms
spoonless, adjective
spoonlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spoon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mow chases in a spoon and tub, big clam, mow places in a boil a piece.

    Geography and Plays Gertrude Stein
  • If you look on the back of the spoon, you will perhaps see "Rogers Bros. 1846."

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • Such a spoon, as shown in Fig. 3, is about the length of a teaspoon, but has a round bowl.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3 Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
  • Dont leave your spoon in the dish or on its side, but clean your spoon.

  • To have it the handier, she poured both bottlefuls into an empty demijohn and put the spoon beside it in the cupboard.

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for spoon


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
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
(golf) a former name for a No. 3 wood
(informal) a foolish or useless person
(Brit) wooden spoon, another name for booby prize
(rowing) a type of oar blade that is curved at the edges and tip to gain a firm grip on the water Compare spade1 (sense 4)
be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth, to inherit wealth or social standing
(transitive) to scoop up or transfer (food, liquid, etc) from one container to another with or as if with a spoon
(intransitive) (slang, old-fashioned) to kiss and cuddle
to hollow out (a cavity or spoon-shaped bowl) (in something)
(sport) to hit (a ball) with a weak lifting motion, as in golf, cricket, etc
Word Origin
Old English spōn splinter; related to Old Norse spōnn spoon, chip, Old High German spān
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 spoon

Old English spon "chip, shaving," from Proto-Germanic *spænuz (cf. Old Norse spann, sponn "chip, splinter," Swedish spån "a wooden spoon," Old Frisian spon, Middle Dutch spaen, Dutch spaan, Old High German span, German Span "chip, splinter"), from PIE *spe- "long, flat piece of wood" (cf. Greek sphen "wedge").

The meaning "eating utensil" is c.1300 in English (in Old English such a thing might be a metesticca), probably from Old Norse sponn, which meant "spoon" as well as "chip, tile" (development of the "eating utensil" sense is specific to Middle English and Scandinavian, though Middle Low German spon also meant "wooden spatula"). Spoon-feed is from 1610s; figurative sense is attested by 1864. To be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth is from 1801.


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 figurative use based on the notion of shallowness. Related: Spooned; spooning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for spoon



  1. A black person: Some are just spooks by the door, used to give the organization a little color (1945+)
  2. A spy; secret agent: Mr Wolfson isn't a spook for the CIA (1942+ Espionage)


To put on edge; make apprehensive; frighten: ''It's the first time in my life I've ever been spooked,'' says a Byrd staffer (1935+)

[fr Dutch]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with spoon
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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