from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A channel off southern England between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. It connects with the Solent on the west and was formerly used as a rendezvous for the British fleet.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • English Channel off the south coast of England, from which it is separated on the north by a channel, called Spithead in its eastern half, and the Solent in its western portion.

    A Geography for Beginners.

  • This place is called Spithead, and it forms one of the most famous anchoring grounds in the world.

    Peter the Great

  • Back in June 2007, Mr Brown talked about a government of all the talents (hence the acronym) and looked outside politics for Baroness Vadera and Lords Jones of Birmingham, Malloch-Brown, Darzi of Denham and West of Spithead.

    "The goats ... are breeding."

  • It is a fine, large maritime painting, as befits its provenance, signed and dated by Francis Swaine (1765), and carries the evocative title The Landing of the Sailor Prince at Spithead.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • He asked Home Office minister Lord West of Spithead: Do you think this situation would occur if Mr Wilders had said ban the Bible.

    Anti-Islamist politician Geert Wilders refused entry to Britain

  • Mutiny in the Royal Navy at Spithead (April-May) and the Nore (May-June).

    A Bloomfield Chronology

  • The Royal George takes no more heed of us than its namesake under water at Spithead, or under earth at Windsor, does.

    Reprinted Pieces

  • Spithead, which simulated the sense of being at sea by disguising the viewing platform as the afterdeck of a frigate (see Comment, 24). close window

    Making Visible: The Diorama, the Double and the (Gothic) Subject

  • Note 76: Compare this food and water allowance with that of the Irish convicts who had been returned from Newfoundland to Spithead in 1789: 3½ lb. of bread, 2 lb. of flour, 3 lb. of pork, 3 pt. of peas, ½ lb. of butter, and 7 gal. of water each per week.

    Gutenber-e Help Page

  • A further, partial listing at CO 194, fol. 38, fol. 112, does provide the names of the seventy-four male and six female convicts who were removed to Spithead on board the brig Elizabeth and Clare, but no details on those who remained in Newfoundland.

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