- a utensil for use in eating, stirring, measuring, ladling, etc., consisting of a small, shallow bowl with a handle.
- any of various implements, objects, or parts resembling or suggesting this.
- a spoonful.
- Also called spoon bait. Angling. a lure used in casting or trolling for fish, consisting of a bright spoon-shaped piece of metal or the like, swiveled above one or more fishhooks, and revolving as it is drawn through the water.
- Also called number three wood. Golf. a club with a wooden head whose face has a greater slope than the brassie or driver, for hitting long, high drives from the fairway.
- a curved piece projecting from the top of a torpedo tube to guide the torpedo horizontally and prevent it from striking the side of the ship from which it was fired.
verb (used with object)
- to eat with, take up, or transfer in or as in a spoon.
- to hollow out or shape like a spoon.
- to push or shove (a ball) with a lifting motion instead of striking it soundly, as in croquet or golf.
- to hit (a ball) up in the air, as in cricket.
- to nestle in close contact with (another), as when both are lying on their sides with their knees drawn up, so that the back of one person is tucked into the front of the other, like the bowls of two spoons: He moved over and spooned her, pressing himself gently against her warm back as she slept.
- Older Use. to show affection or love toward (someone) by kissing and caressing, especially in an openly sentimental manner.
verb (used without object)
- (of two people) to nestle in close contact with one another, as when both are lying on their sides with their knees drawn up, the back of one person tucked into the front of the other like the bowls of two spoons: They spooned without shifting position the whole night through.
- Older Use. to show affection or love by kissing and caressing, especially in an openly sentimental manner.
- Games. to spoon a ball.
- Angling. to fish with a spoon.
- born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth, born into a wealthy family; having an inherited fortune: She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and never worked a day in her life.
- a metal, wooden, or plastic utensil having a shallow concave part, usually elliptical in shape, attached to a handle, used in eating or serving food, stirring, etc
- Also called: spoonbait an angling lure for spinning or trolling, consisting of a bright piece of metal which swivels on a trace to which are attached a hook or hooks
- golf a former name for a No. 3 wood
- informal a foolish or useless person
- wooden spoon British another name for booby prize
- rowing a type of oar blade that is curved at the edges and tip to gain a firm grip on the waterCompare spade 1 (def. 4)
- be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth to inherit wealth or social standing
- (tr) to scoop up or transfer (food, liquid, etc) from one container to another with or as if with a spoon
- (intr) slang, old-fashioned to kiss and cuddle
- to hollow out (a cavity or spoon-shaped bowl) (in something)
- sport to hit (a ball) with a weak lifting motion, as in golf, cricket, etc
Old English spon “chip, shaving,” from Proto-Germanic *spænuz (cf. Old Norse spann, sponn “chip, splinter,” Swedish spån “a wooden spoon,” Old Frisian spon, Middle Dutch spaen, Dutch spaan, Old High German span, German Span “chip, splinter”), from PIE *spe- “long, flat piece of wood” (cf. Greek sphen “wedge”).
The meaning “eating utensil” is c.1300 in English (in Old English such a thing might be a metesticca), probably from Old Norse sponn, which meant “spoon” as well as “chip, tile” (development of the “eating utensil” sense is specific to Middle English and Scandinavian, though Middle Low German spon also meant “wooden spatula”). Spoon-feed is from 1610s; figurative sense is attested by 1864. To be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth is from 1801.
1715, “to dish out with a spoon,” from spoon (n.). The meaning “court, flirt sentimentally” is first recorded 1831, from slang noun spoon “simpleton” (1799), a figurative use based on the notion of shallowness. Related: Spooned; spooning.
Born into a wealthy family: “She may have a lot of money, but she earned every penny herself; she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth.”
see born with a silver spoon; greasy spoon.