Definition of spiel in English:


Pronunciation /SHpēl//spēl/


  • A long or fast speech or story, typically one intended as a means of persuasion or as an excuse but regarded with skepticism or contempt by those who hear it.

    ‘he delivers a breathless and effortless spiel in promotion of his new novel’
    • ‘A candidate in my electoral area, accompanied by his daughter, knocked on my door and gave me the spiel.’
    • ‘And then within minutes, I was actually doing my advocacy spiel on a street corner.’
    • ‘Direct questions on financial issues are answered with opaque spiels on their version of moral principle.’
    • ‘After a bit she told me that the previous time we had met I had launched into an identical spiel.’
    • ‘For the course of the game he pretty much serves no purpose greater than giving you a basic spiel on your next mission.’
    • ‘Patricia and Pierre offer to help him practice his spiel.’
    • ‘That is provided no-one had the audacity to doubt the spiel by asking questions, to which the lad had no answers.’
    • ‘The brother met us and gave us the spiel about the dangers of the city.’
    • ‘In my volunteering for political campaigns, federal and provincial, I've become fairly ruthless in my spiel.’
    • ‘The team got in to a straight line, recognizing the beginning of her spiel.’
    • ‘This spiel proved the final straw for the judge, who lashed out at the mother like an avenging angel.’
    • ‘With the building full to standing room only as he delivers his spiel, there is a definite air of sanctity and reverence.’
    • ‘But others who heard the spiel weren't as convinced.’
    • ‘She was always glad to show potential clients how to apply cream and powders, and did free-of-charge makeovers for anyone with the patience to hear her spiel.’
    • ‘He got the hard sell from the men, who gave a spiel about the warehouse accidentally giving them twice the number of speakers ordered.’
    • ‘I bought his spiel, and the pager served me well for many years.’
    • ‘My spiel is, if you're fair-skinned, watch for discolorations.’
    • ‘As I stopped to check it out I was swooped upon by the salesman and was given the big spiel.’
    • ‘That didn't surprise me, because he definitely hadn't had time to breathe while delivering his spiel.’
    • ‘She wasn't finished yet as she continued her spiel without taking a breath.’
    speech, line, patter, pitch, sales pitch
    monologue, rigmarole, story, saga
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[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1 Reel off; recite.

    ‘he solemnly spieled all he knew’
    • ‘Standing in front of a projected screen that displayed the words ‘In front of them all,’ he spieled out his military lingo with a Mid-Western accent, cycling through pictures and maps of wartime Korea.’
    • ‘Early in the project, when asked by journalists, I simply spieled off theories of excarnation and an inverted underworld.’
    • ‘He half listened as the local news reporters spieled off the latest information and traffic for the morning.’
    reel off, recite, list rapidly, fire off, run through, enumerate
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    1. 1.1[no object] Speak glibly or at length.
      • ‘The great irony is, of course, with all this information - so much of it flotsam and jetsam - here am I, spieling.’
      give a speech, give a talk, talk, lecture, give a lecture, deliver an address, give a sermon, hold forth, discourse, expound, expatiate, orate, harangue, sermonize, pontificate
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Late 19th century: from German Spiel a game.