spad (plural spads)

  1. (politics, United Kingdom, informal) A government adviser, often in a political or media role.
    • 2009, Ben Wright, Hidden world of the political advisers ↗, BBC:
      A successful stint as a spad can be a crucial political apprenticeship - as many of the current crop of professional politicians including the Miliband brothers, David Cameron and George Osborne can testify - so long as they stay in the dark.
    • 2012, Avoid The Thick of It-style spad appointments, ministers told ↗, The Guardian:
      The hit BBC sitcom satirising the inner workings of Whitehall and the so-called spads contains "more than a grain of truth", the head of the cross-party public administration select committee has warned.

spad (plural spads)

  1. (mining) A nail one or two inches long, of iron, brass, tin, or tinner iron, with a hole through the flattened head, used to mark stations in underground surveying.

  • (British) IPA: /ˈspæd/

spad (plural spads)

  1. (rail transport, UK) an instance of a signal passed at danger
  2. (UK politics) A special adviser
  3. (plant science) a relative measurement of the amount of chlorophyll present in a leaf based on measurements with a SPAD meter produced by Minolta

spad (SPADs, present participle SPADing; past and past participle SPADed)

  1. (rail transport, UK) to pass a signal at danger
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