• WordNet 3.6
    • n spate the occurrence of a water flow resulting from sudden rain or melting snow
    • n spate a sudden forceful flow
    • n spate (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent "a batch of letters","a deal of trouble","a lot of money","he made a mint on the stock market","see the rest of the winners in our huge passel of photos","it must have cost plenty","a slew of journalists","a wad of money"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Spate A river flood; an overflow or inundation. "Gareth in a showerful spring
      Stared at the spate ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n spate A natural outpour of water; a flood; specifically, a sudden flood or freshet, as from a swollen river or lake.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spate spāt a sudden flood, as in a stream after heavy rain.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. speid,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. Ir. speid.


In literature:

If I know aught of Highland spates, they will both be down in the hour and fishable.
"From Edinburgh to India & Burmah" by William G. Burn Murdoch
It was obvious that these spars, like the anglers, were waiting for a spate.
"Lines in Pleasant Places" by William Senior
Sudden spates sometimes sweep away men and cattle before they can get across.
"The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir" by Sir James McCrone Douie
Therefore must we be on our guard against a sudden spate, which may overwhelm us if we are caught unawares.
"Two Gallant Sons of Devon" by Harry Collingwood
The railway engineers have had to provide for the recurrence of such spates.
"El Kab" by J.E. Quibell
The coloured man's stolid silence was suddenly swept away in a spate of oaths and protestations.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
A spate of words poured from him, but they made no sense.
"The Electronic Mind Reader" by John Blaine
It has torn and desolated its own shores with sudden spates.
"Out-of-Doors in the Holy Land" by Henry Van Dyke
Shelby paused to price some of the vegetables, just to draw Spate into conversation.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
The three brothers broke into a spate of volunteering, and Rafe made an obscene suggestion.
"The Planet Savers" by Marion Zimmer Bradley

In poetry:

I've heart of a lapwing.
God! how I hate
Din of these tram-cars,
Early an' late,
When t' wind is in alders
An' becks are in spate.
"Moorland Wife" by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe
Up to t' dale-head wheer snow-bairns skip
An' t' liltin' river's in spate,
Up ower meadows wheer mist-hounds meet
At t' foot o' Herendon Gate.
"Richard Ryder" by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe
For half o' the brig had been torn away
By the angry strength o' the spate,
An' the young bridegroom slippit ow'r in the dark
To his quick an' awfu' fate.
"Daft Ailie" by Alexander Anderson
Ae fearfu' night -- (oh! night of fate!)
Loud beat the storm wi' thund'ring thud,
The waters raise, and in a spate
Updash'd in foam the neighb'ring flood;
"The Pastoral, Or Lyric Muse Of Scotland. Canto Third. Dornock Ha'. A Ballad" by Hector MacNeill
He dressed the line, he led the charge,
They swept the wall like a stream in spate,
And roaring over the roar they heard
The galloper guns that burst the gate.
"Gillespie." by Sir Henry Newbolt
When I cam hame wi the thrang o the years 'ahint me
There was naucht to see for the weeds an the lade in spate,
But the watter-hen by the dams she seemed aye to mind me,
Cryin "Hope-wait!"
"Aye, bird, but my een growe dim, an it's late-late!"
"The Watter-Hen" by Violet Jacob

In news:

A late spate of news as the campaigns wind down.
The presidential vote-counting debacle of 2000 was the first in a spate of recent national events that put the spotlight on understanding our democracy, Constitution and lawmaking.
A recent spate of Orion Twp.
A recent spate of missing dogs in Haines has owners wondering what happened to their canine companions.
New York City Isn't Immune to Recent Spate of Reproductive -Rights Legal Battles.
Ennis Daily News photo by Phil Banker / A water main break on Baylor Street on Friday was one of a spate of breaks at the end of last week that occupied utility repair crews.
The recent spate of natural disasters has apparently encouraged more Valley residents to look into the SCOPE program.
Allison Macfarlane said this week that a spate of natural events shows the industry needs to re-evaluate geologic risk.
Knute Berger wonders what's next for Seattle after a heartbreaking spate of bystander shootings.
The shooting was just the latest spate of violence associated with a day that marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
Drivers in southeastern Michigan are back on edge after a spate of new shootings at cars along or near Interstate 96, including one over the weekend that injured a driver for the first time.
The West Towson neighborhood of Southland Hills experienced a spate of vandalism early this past Sunday morning, Oct 14, according to Southland Hills Improvement Association President Therese McAllister.
A Spate of Rebranding for Spanish-Language TV.
Bismarck police say that thieves nabbed more than $1,700 in property in a spate of vehicle break-ins over the weekend.
Spate of events scheduled for Elvis' birthday.

In science:

Recently a spate of work has been written with such a Bayesian commitment.
Relationalism vs. Bayesianism
Prior to the launch of GLAST there will be a spate of new results forthcoming from the new generation of IACT arrays.
Status of VHE Astronomy c.2000
In the last three years, a spate of independent experiments has evinced the primordial fluctuations present when the radiation decoupled from the matter at a redshift of z ≈ 1100.
Experimental CMB Status and Prospects: A Report from Snowmass 2001
Bosma retraced the history of the dark matter problem and emphasized the importance of Ken’s 1970 paper in stressing the mass discrepancy in galaxy dynamics, long before the spate of ‘dark halo’ theory papers starting in 1973.
Workshop Summary: The Dynamics, Structure and History of Galaxies
As a postscript to the discovery of all these new and unanticipated states, and the uncertainty about their nature, let me recall that the discovery of J/ψ49 was followed by a spate of theoretical papers about its nature50 , most of which, even by famous Nobelists, turned out to be wrong.
Summary of Experimental Meson Physics