Definition of spell something out in English:

spell something out

phrasal verb

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

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