Definition of in (full) spate in US English:

in (full) spate


  • 1(of a river) overflowing due to a sudden flood.

    • ‘Many of the local rivers were in spate especially the Owveg River.’
    • ‘Should the river be swollen in spate, it is one of the best places in Scotland to witness the true magic of the spectacular leaping antics of the genuine wild Atlantic salmon.’
    • ‘Mr Gupta said heavy rainfall and rivers in spate had caused several areas to become inundated with water.’
    • ‘Not long ago, one used to spot plaques in many parts of the city, depicting the highest flood level of the river in spate.’
    swollen, congested
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    1. 1.1 (of a person or action) at the height of activity.
      ‘work was in full spate’
      • ‘By then Stalin's terror was in full spate.’
      • ‘The sexual revolution was in full spate.’
      • ‘There are very few occasions as exhilarating as a youth orchestra in full spate.’