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In spades

Posted by Valeriy on November 16, 2006

In spades

I know there were already discussions regarding this expression and I refer to one of them seeking a clarification to one of the explanations given:


By extension beyond cards, "in spades" expresses a decisive, complete, no-doubt defeat. If I suffer a (real or imagined) injury from you, and I retaliate with disproportionate vigor, I have paid you back "in spades."


In this explanation what is "the defeat" is referred to? To that one who suffers or to the opponent?

Further, how would you interpret "in spades" in the following context:

"There are three essential conditions necessary to produce a pandemic. First, a new virus must arise from an animal reservoir, such that humans have no natural immunity to it. Second, the virus must evolve to be capable of killing human beings efficiently. Third, the virus must succeed in jumping efficiently from one human to the next. For the virus, it,s one small step to man, but one giant leap to mankind. So far, conditions one and two have been met in spades. Three strikes and we,re out."

Thank you.