Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small grove; a copse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small wood with undergrowth; a clump of trees or shrubs; a small grove or shrubbery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Same as spinny.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun UK A small copse or wood, especially one planted as a shelter for game birds.

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

  • noun a copse that shelters game

Etymologies

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

[Obsolete French espinoi, from Old French espinei, thorny place, from Vulgar Latin *spīnēta, pl. of Latin spīnētum, thorn hedge, from spīna, thorn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English spenné, from Middle French espinoye ("thorney thicket"), espinaye, from Latin spīnētum ("thorney thicket"), from Latin spīna ("thorn").

Examples

  • The spinney was a mixture of beech, ash, sycamore and elm, more recent planting than the woodland they'd been in the previous night.

    A Place of Execution

  • I was here alone in a lonely field, at nine of the clock on a winter night, and there, flittering and gliding through the spinney was a something in white.

    The Yeoman Adventurer

  • The samples of his verse that Mr. Hollinghurst invents are perfectly pitched to be good but not great: "The spinney where the lisping larches / Kiss overhead in silver arches / And in their shadows lovers too / Might kiss and tell their secrets through," is a typical jingling passage.

    The (Private) Lives of the Poets

  • We blew the road and retreated and things went a little quieter, the Northumberland Hussars covered us while we retreated and as we had not slept for 3days and nights, we pulled into a little spinney and had some food, a wash, and slept.

    John Keay

  • Procurement struggles are like knife fights in a dark alley: no time to show weakness. recommendation to obama: put chuck spinney in charge.

    War With No Mercy | ATTACKERMAN

  • By the time they got the pipe back together, Spader noticed that the deck wasnt bucking like a crazed spinney fish anymore.

    Pendragon: Before the War: Book One of the Travelers

  • Like when you trip over an old plough left in a spinney between fields, and when you've finished having a good swear you discover the maker's name embossed on a crossbar shouting back at you, albeit somewhat rustily.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • Like when you trip over an old plough left in a spinney between fields, and when you've finished having a good swear you discover the maker's name embossed on a crossbar shouting back at you, albeit somewhat rustily.

    Back to Nature

  • Then its time I showed ya, spinney fish, came a gravelly mans voice I didnt recognize.

    The Soldiers of Halla

  • That spinney head, Spader thought as he and Per both raced toward the bow of the vessel.

    Pendragon: Before the War: Book One of the Travelers

Comments

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  • "And the Trust had long since agreed that it could do little better than see the whole business of thinning the woods, etc., as, well, as tit-for-tat: they would pay nothing for the cutting-back of the various copses and spinneys; and in turn the various wood-cutters and carters would receive the proceeds from the tens of thousands of assorted tree-trunks that were annually removed from Wytham Woods."

    - Colin Dexter, 'The Way Through The Woods'.

    November 1, 2008

  • "In the middle distance beyond the wide lawn a large house stood, all honey- colored stone and gray slate, adorned with chimneys and gables and towers and roofs and sub- roofs. In the center, over the main house, was a tall, stately clock tower that struck even Quentin as an odd addition to what otherwise looked like a private residence. The clock was in the Venetian style: a single barbed hand circling a face with twenty- four hours marked on it in Roman numerals. Over one wing rose what looked like the green oxidized- copper dome of an observatory. Between house and lawn was a series of inviting landscaped terraces and spinneys and hedges and fountains. Between house and lawn was a series of inviting landscaped terraces and spinneys and hedges and fountains."

    - The Magicians by Lev Grossman, p 16

    October 5, 2009