Definitions

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

  • n. A contest in which competitors are eliminated as they fail to spell a given word correctly. Also called spelldown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spelling competition where contestants, usually children, are asked to spell words; the individual or team spelling the most words correctly wins.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. a spelling match.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as spellingmatch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a contest in which you are eliminated if you fail to spell a word correctly

Etymologies

From spelling +‎ bee (“gathering, contest”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He hadn’t spent every night of his childhood lying in bed, making up elaborate, Disney-flavored fantasies about winning the county spelling bee or starring in the second grade play and finally catching the attention of a mother who couldn’t be bothered to venture east of L.A. or west of Manhattan because “Mommy’s got to work Fashion Week, darling.”

    The 310: Boy Trouble

  • As Abhi Roy said in an interview, Sukanya's performance in the spelling bee "wasn't about winning; we want her to appreciate the language."

    The Exceptional Children Of Skilled Immigrants

  • A K A R I win a spelling bee p.s. Every difficult word above -- except for "uakari" -- was in the 2009 National Spellng Bee p.p.s. I recorded this song live, and yes, by accident I DID spell "clogwyn" wrong.

    Too Old For The National Spellng Bee

  • She considered saying onomatopoeia, a word that had enabled her to win a spelling bee in the fifth grade.

    The Bonesetter's Daughter

Comments

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  • Online spelling bee can be found here. Although I like the interface I have to admit to having had a lot of trouble comprehending the accents of the bees.

    February 16, 2009