spell out

Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

spell 1

v. spelled or spelt (spĕlt), spell·ing, spells
1. To name or write in order the letters constituting (a word).
2. To constitute the letters of (a word): These letters spell animal.
3. To add up to; signify: Their unwise investment could spell financial ruin.
To name or write in order the letters of a word or words: I've never been able to spell very well.
Phrasal Verbs:
spell down
To defeat in a spelling bee.
spell out
1. To make clear and explicit: asked him to spell out his objectives.
2. To name or write in order the letters that constitute (a word or part of a word): spelled out my name.

[Middle English spellen, to read letter by letter, from Old French espeller, of Germanic origin.]

spell 2

a. A word or formula believed to have magic power.
b. A bewitched state or trance: The sorcerer put the prince under a spell.
2. A compelling attraction; charm or fascination: the spell of the theater.
tr.v. spelled, spell·ing, spells
To put (someone) under a spell; bewitch.

[Middle English, discourse, from Old English.]

spell 3

1. A short, indefinite period of time.
2. Informal A period of weather of a particular kind: a dry spell.
a. One's turn at work.
b. A period of work; a shift.
4. Australian A period of rest.
5. Informal A period of physical or mental disorder or distress: a dizzy spell.
6. Informal A short distance.
v. spelled, spell·ing, spells
1. To relieve (someone) from work temporarily by taking a turn.
2. To allow (someone) to rest a while.
1. To take turns working.
2. Australian To rest for a time from an activity.

[From Middle English spelen, to spare, from Old English spelian, to represent, substitute for.]

spell out

vb (tr, adverb)
1. to make clear, distinct, or explicit; clarify in detail: let me spell out the implications.
2. to read laboriously or with difficulty, working out each word letter by letter
3. to discern by study; puzzle out
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.spell out - make explicit; specify in detail; "You should spell out your demands"
particularise, particularize, specialise, specialize, specify - be specific about; "Could you please specify your criticism of my paper?"
2.spell out - spell fully and without abbreviating; "Can you spell out your middle name instead of just giving the initial?"
spell, write - write or name the letters that comprise the conventionally accepted form of (a word or part of a word); "He spelled the word wrong in this letter"
3.spell out - orally recite the letters of or give the spelling of; "How do you spell this word?" "We had to spell out our names for the police officer"
misspell - spell incorrectly
recite - repeat aloud from memory; "she recited a poem"; "The pupil recited his lesson for the day"

spell 1

To have or convey a particular idea:
Idiom: add up to.
phrasal verb
spell out
To make understandable:
Archaic: enucleate.
Idiom: put into plain English.

w>spell out

vt sep (= spell aloud)buchstabieren; (= read slowly)entziffern; (= explain)verdeutlichen, klarmachen; to spell something out for somebodyjdm etw klarmachen; he needs everything spelled out to himman muss ihm alles überdeutlich machen; do I have to spell it out for you? (inf)muss ich noch deutlicher werden?
References in periodicals archive ?
William Haggas' charge looked a potentially useful type when winning on his third juvenile outing at Thirsk last September, only to slip and take a heavy fall after the line and spend a spell out.
They have Steve Hodgson back from an ankle knock and Andrew Porritt will return to the squad after a long spell out injured.
Most mesmerizing of all, though, are the small keys that spell out and recapitulate the schemas of the drawings, deftly rejuvenating the coincidence of linguistic proposition and physical execution so prized by Conceptualism.