EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SPATE
His joy welled up and overflowed in him as overflows a river in time of spate.
A look from Spate silenced him, but the President had not caught the slip.
"Not but what Wakefield is enterprising," Spate added, anxiously.
Spate could rise to an emergency; the other committeemen thanked him with their eyes.
It was about the first day of October, and we had enjoyed a “spate.”
I nodded, still marvelling over this spate of speech at table.
"Hazr, it is a spate from the hills," he said between quick breaths.
It was obvious that these spars, like the anglers, were waiting for a spate.
Why, the river was yesterday in spate, and she is fresh run from the sea.
I tried to catch him as he fell, but the Mairg Water was in spate, and it was useless.
early 15c., originally Scottish and northern English, "a sudden flood, especially one caused by heavy rains or a snowmelt," of unknown origin. Perhaps from Old French espoit "flood," from Dutch spuiten "to flow, spout;" related to spout. Figurative sense of "unusual quantity" is attested from 1610s.