Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chip or splinter of wood.
  • n. A lath; a shaving or chip, as of wood or stone.
  • n. A strengthening cross timber.
  • n. One of a number of cross-bands fastened temprarily to the frames to keep them in place until properly secured; a spaling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lath; a shaving or chip, as of wood or stone.
  • n. A strengthening cross timber.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To break up.
  • n. A chip or splinter of wood.
  • n. In ship-building, one of a number of cross-bands fastened temporarily to the frames to keep them in place until properly secured. Also called spaling.
  • In mining, to inflict a fine upon for breach of some rule of the mine.

Etymologies

From Middle English spale ("splinter"), perhaps partly from Old English *spalu (“flat bar, flake, chip”) or Old Norse spǫlr ("plank, rail, bar, short piece of wood"), both from Proto-Germanic *spaluz (“pole, rod, thin bar, lath”); and partly as an alteration of Old English speld ("ember, flake, torch, splinter, thin piece of wood used as a torch"), from Proto-Germanic *speldan (“that which is split, splinter, board”); both from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pala-, *(s)pel- (“to split in two, split in half”). Cognate with Middle High German spale ("rung of a ladder"; > German dialectal Spale ("a wooden split, wedge")), Swedish dialectal spalu ("splinter"), Norwegian dialectal spel, spela, spila ("a splinter"), Icelandic spölur ("bit, short piece"). See also split. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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