Etymology
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spawn (v.)

c. 1400, intransitive, from Anglo-French espaundre, Old French espandre "to spread out, pour out, scatter, strew, spawn (of fish)" (Modern French épandre), from Latin expandere "to spread out, unfold, expand," from ex "out" (see ex-) + pandere "to spread, stretch" (from nasalized form of PIE root *pete- "to spread"). The notion is of a "spreading out" of fish eggs released in water. The transitive meaning "to engender, give rise to" is attested from 1590s. Related: Spawned; spawning.

spawn (n.)

late 15c., "fish eggs," from spawn (v.); figurative sense of "brood, offspring," and, insultingly, of persons, is from 1580s.

updated on June 01, 2017

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Definitions of spawn from WordNet
1
spawn (v.)
call forth;
Synonyms: engender / breed
spawn (v.)
lay spawn;
The salmon swims upstream to spawn
2
spawn (n.)
the mass of eggs deposited by fish or amphibians or molluscs;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.