Definition of spoon in US English:



  • 1An implement consisting of a small, shallow oval or round bowl on a long handle, used for eating, stirring, and serving food.

    • ‘He sits upright and brings his spoon up to his lips.’
    • ‘Minutes later, he stops stirring and puts down the spoon.’
    • ‘He would make everyday utensils, such as spoons and bowls, and even made a 24-blade knife.’
    • ‘Alright, open the jar and get your spoon and take a big scoop out of it.’
    • ‘Watching the chefs at work was fascinating too although I was a bit taken aback to note that they lick their fingers and serving spoons as they plate up the food.’
    • ‘Thirteen-month-old Kristin turns her head away when offered food on a spoon.’
    • ‘Our fields are full of old spoons and forks and pieces of broken cups, saucers and plates.’
    • ‘A carpenter or carver of mortars and spoons might become a sculptor of statues.’
    • ‘It also appeals to mothers because you don't have to pack a spoon for it and then wonder if it's going to come back.’
    • ‘A table, covered in white cloth and silver spoons was set in front of him, and he went to his meat.’
    • ‘Puddings are devoured amid a flurry of spoons darting back and forth across the table.’
    • ‘Never tap your water glass with a spoon to get the server's attention.’
    • ‘Yogurts not only are designed with resealable tops, but with in-lid spoons.’
    • ‘Holding a spoon and a bowl, this woman lunches quietly, pensively and, most importantly, alone on the grass.’
    • ‘In any case, the idea is good - eliminate the reason consumers can't eat yogurt on the run, based upon the premise that consumers can't ever find a spoon to eat their yogurt.’
    • ‘So I borrowed the spoon and I took it to Roy in the Hilton Hotel in New York.’
    • ‘He is like a child hammering a spoon on the table, the way he pounds his fists on the arm of his chair.’
    • ‘It's yogurt in a tube so you don't need a spoon to eat it.’
    • ‘‘These products are designed to be a convenient way to get the benefits of dairy in the morning without having to sit down with a bowl and spoon,’ she says.’
    • ‘Bung it in the pan and smooth it out with an oiled spoon.’
    ladle, dipper
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    1. 1.1 The contents of a spoon.
      ‘three spoons of sugar’
      • ‘One day I was putting six spoons of sugar into a cup of tea, when I saw some men at another table watching me.’
      • ‘I dropped the strainer method and adopted tea bags, made in the mug, but the drink (Assam with no more than a drop of milk and two heaped spoons of sugar) turned out the same: hot, strong and syrupy.’
    2. 1.2spoons A pair of spoons held in the hand and beaten together rhythmically as a percussion instrument.
      • ‘There's the potentially useful stuff; glossaries of opera terms, a hip-hop dictionary, a guide to playing the spoons and so on.’
      • ‘By swapping guitars for spoons, the band's sound is basic yet shiny.’
      • ‘But it's not just a superior production job they have going for them: Volume 1 would be just as chilling played on a banjo and a set of spoons.’
      • ‘It is a whimsical piece featuring spoons and stride piano.’
      • ‘As with bones, spoons are usually played in pairs and usually a pair in each hand.’
      • ‘Remember, if you are having trouble keeping the spoons in line, you are probably not holding them firmly.’
      • ‘Guests in the front row are provided with refreshment (club sandwiches) and spoons to play in some of the more lively numbers.’
      • ‘If signing policies get any more experimental and eclectic, they'll be offering contracts to buskers who play the spoons.’
  • 2A thing resembling a spoon in shape.

    • ‘They'd grow that pinkie at least a good half-inch past the finger and shape it perfectly, and that was the ultimate coke spoon of the time.’
    1. 2.1 A fishing lure designed to wobble when pulled through the water.
      • ‘Some fishermen trolled dead bait as well as various types of spoon baits and some trout were caught.’
      • ‘During the past week 26 anglers caught 53 trout for 68 lb in 49 angling days, mostly all to wet fly but also some by anglers trolling spoon baits.’
      • ‘We could see how many fishermen had delved into these waters by the hundreds of spoon baits lodged in the weed.’
    2. 2.2 An oar with a broad curved blade.
      oar, scull, sweep, blade, spade
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    3. 2.3Golf dated A club with a slightly concave wooden head.


  • 1with object and adverbial of direction Convey (food) somewhere by using a spoon.

    ‘Rosie spooned sugar into her mug’
    • ‘He spooned some into Adam's reluctantly obedient mouth and crooned, ‘There we are.’’
    • ‘He had already seated his two children on his lap and was now spooning generous helpings of spiced apple sauce onto their plates.’
    • ‘I watched with concern as she spooned it into Maki's mouth.’
    • ‘Alexander had eaten more of the fruit dessert than he had thought and found himself spooning the last of it on his plate.’
    • ‘‘Well,’ I began, spooning some banana into my mouth.’
    • ‘I reach for it and he shakes his head; he spoons the sugar on my rice.’
    • ‘Tina watched, shaking her head as Hank spooned a generous helping of rice into his bowl before filling it with chowder.’
    • ‘Raven began to settle back but then Morgaine spooned some peas onto her knife and shoved them into her mouth.’
    • ‘She sat back down and spooned some stew into her mouth.’
    • ‘I absently spooned some of my porridge into my mouth, my thoughts focused on the two pages of a one month old London newspaper which I had managed to get my hands on the day before in town.’
    • ‘He then opened a jar of cherry preserve, spooned some out, and put it in his mouth.’
    • ‘When the batter was ready, I spooned batter onto a cookie sheet, and heated the stove.’
    • ‘She stood over him, frowning, as Joe spooned soup into his mouth.’
    • ‘The sailor nodded in reply, spooning some porridge into his mouth.’
    • ‘I opened the freezer, grabbed a quart of ice scream and spooned a few scoops into a bowl.’
    • ‘He sat on the cot just beside Jude's, spooning cold beans into his mouth.’
    • ‘I spooned some of the whipped cream into my mouth, making sure I didn't get it all round my mouth.’
    • ‘She was smoking a cheap cigarette while spooning white sugar into a cup of tea stewed from the cheapest of teabags.’
    scoop, scoop up, spade, dig, excavate, move, shift, heap, ladle, toss
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  • 2dated, informal no object (of two people) behave in an amorous way; kiss and cuddle.

    ‘I saw them spooning on the beach’
    • ‘‘The shooter aiming from Horseshoe Beach thought you and I were spooning on that ledge,’ she whispered.’
    embrace, hug, caress, pet, fondle
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    1. 2.1 (of two people) lie close together sideways and front to back with bent knees, so as to fit together like spoons.
      • ‘Morvern spoons with her boyfriend's dead body on the living room floor, in a silence and darkness broken only by the visual and sonic buzz of cycling Christmas lights.’
      • ‘She spooned up against him, hooking her chin on his neck.’
      • ‘Caleb turned off the light and spooned up beside her and kissed the back of her head before he closed his eyes and tried to sleep.’
  • 3Hit (a ball) up into the air with a soft or weak stroke.

    ‘he spooned his shot high over the bar’


Old English spōn ‘chip of wood’, of Germanic origin; related to German Span ‘shaving’. spoon (sense 1 of the noun) is of Scandinavian origin. The verb dates from the early 18th century.