Definition of spell something out in US English:

spell something out

phrasal verb

  • 1Speak the letters that form a word in sequence.

    • ‘Sarah practically spelled the words out to him and he showed no signs of knowing what the hell she was talking about.’
    • ‘At this rate, I would be surprised if she started spelling the words out for us.’
    • ‘She spelt the word out in her head, but sometimes it turned into farther.’
    • ‘I spelled the words out for my dad, but he didn't know what they meant either.’
    • ‘I was communicating by spelling things out on a letter board.’
    • ‘After we talked about each of the words, we spelled them out loud.’
    1. 1.1 Explain something in detail.
      ‘I'll spell out the problem again’
      • ‘This is the first time many of these steps have been spelled out publicly.’
      • ‘He said his plans will be spelled out in more detail in the strategy he will present to the EU later this week.’
      • ‘Who needs conspiracy theories when things are spelt out as clearly as this?’
      • ‘Everyone knew rumours were going around and the company had promised to be honest with us, but the true situation wasn't spelt out in time.’
      • ‘But laser eye surgery has caused controversy because of claims that the risks are not spelt out to consumers.’
      • ‘The ads urged viewers to visit a website set up especially for the campaign, where the message was spelt out even further.’
      • ‘The details of the agreement will be spelled out in a contract.’
      • ‘The research questions are spelled out in a very specific way.’
      • ‘One area where costs are spelled out in detail is that of executive salary packages.’
      • ‘It is important that certain facts are spelt out to the public.’
      explain, make clear, make plain, elucidate, clarify
      View synonyms