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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A place where provisions are kept; a buttery; a larder; a pantry. In . . . His spence, or pantry were hung the carcasses of a sheep or ewe, and two cows lately slaughtered. (Sir W. Scott) Bluff Harry broke into the spence, And turned the cowls adrift. (Tennyson)

2. The inner apartment of a country house; also, the place where the family sit and eat.

Origin: OF. Despense, F. Depense, buffet, buttery, fr. OF. Despendre to spend, distribute, L. Dispendere, dispensum. See Dispense, Spend.