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1. A sturdy digging tool having a thick handle and a heavy, flat blade that can be pressed into the ground with the foot.
2. Any of various similar digging or cutting tools.
tr.v. spad·ed, spad·ing, spadesIdiom:
To dig or cut with a spade.
call a spade a spade
To speak plainly and forthrightly.
[Middle English, from Old English spadu.]
a. A black, leaf-shaped figure on certain playing cards.
b. A playing card with this figure.
c. also spades(used with a sing. or pl. verb) The suit of cards represented by this figure.
2. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a black person.
To a considerable degree: They had financial trouble in spades.
[Italian spade, pl. of spada, card suit, from Latin spatha, sword, broad-bladed stirrer, from Greek spathē, broad blade.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.