Sense: 1,3-4
Origin: Old English'talk, story'
Sense: 2
Date: 1600-1700
Origin: spell 'to take the place of another' (11-21 centuries), from Old English spelian


2 noun
spell2 [countable]
1 a piece of magic that someone does, or the special words or ceremonies used in doing it:
put a spell on somebody/cast a spell over somebody (=do a piece of magic to change someone)
The kiss of the prince broke the spell (=stopped the magic from working).
be under a spell
The whole town seemed to be under a spell.
2 a period of a particular kind of activity, weather, illness etc, usually a short period
brief/short spell
After a brief spell in the army, I returned to teaching.
spell of
a spell of bad luck
cold/wet/dry spell
Water the young plants carefully during dry spells.
a day of sunny spells and scattered showers
He began to suffer from dizzy spells.
3 a power that attracts, interests, and influences you very strongly
fall/come/be under a spell
I fell under the spell of her charm.
an ancient city that still casts its spell over travellers

break the spell

to make someone stop paying all their attention to something, or to make a time stop feeling special:
He lay still, not wanting to break the spell.

Dictionary results for "spell"
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