1. The eggs of aquatic animals such as bivalve mollusks, fishes, and amphibians.
2. Offspring, especially when occurring in large numbers.
3. A product or an outcome: the spawn of a prodigious imagination.
4. Mycelia of mushrooms or other fungi grown in specially prepared organic matter for planting in beds.
v. spawned, spawn·ing, spawns
1. To deposit eggs; produce spawn.
2. To produce offspring in large numbers.
1. To produce or deposit (spawn).
2. To produce (offspring).
3. To produce or give rise to: tyranny that spawned revolt.
4. To plant with mycelia grown in specially prepared organic matter.
[Middle English spawne, from spawnen, to spawn, from Anglo-Norman espaundre, from Latin expandere; see EXPAND.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus