Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Origin: Perhaps from Old French espoit, from Dutch spuiten 'to flow out strongly'

spate

noun
     
spate
1

spate of something

a large number of similar things that happen in a short period of time, especially bad things:
a spate of burglaries
2

in spate

DNSG British English a river, stream etc that is in spate is very full and flowing very fast

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