l) KEY VERB: spelled
, spells VERB: tr.
- To name or write in order the letters constituting (a word or part of a word).
- To constitute the letters of (a word): These letters spell animal.
- To add up to; signify: Their unwise investment could spell financial ruin.
PHRASAL VERBS: spell down
- To form words by means of letters.
- To defeat in a spelling bee.
- To make perfectly clear and understandable: asked him to spell out his objectives.
- To read slowly and laboriously.
- To puzzle out; comprehend by study.
Middle English spellen
, to read letter by letter
, from Old French espeller
, of Germanic origin