- v. & n.
—v. (past sprang or US sprung; past part. sprung)
1 intr. jump; move rapidly or suddenly (sprang from his seat; sprang through the gap; sprang to their assistance).
2 intr. move rapidly as from a constrained position or by the action of a spring (the branch sprang back; the door sprang to).
3 intr. (usu. foll. by from) originate or arise (springs from an old family; their actions spring from a false conviction).
4 intr. (usu. foll. by up) come into being; appear, esp. suddenly (a breeze sprang up; the belief has sprung up).
5 tr. cause to act suddenly, esp. by means of a spring (spring a trap).
6 tr. (often foll. by on) produce or develop or make known suddenly or unexpectedly (has sprung a new theory; loves to spring surprises).
7 tr. sl. contrive the escape or release of.
8 tr. rouse (game) from earth or covert.
9 a intr. become warped or split. b tr. split, crack (wood or a wooden implement).
10 tr. (usu. as sprung adj.) provide (a motor vehicle etc.) with springs.
11 a tr. colloq. spend (money). b intr. (usu. foll. by for) US & Austral. sl. pay for a treat.
12 tr. cause (a mine) to explode.
1 a jump (took a spring; rose with a spring).
2 a backward movement from a constrained position; a recoil, e.g. of a bow.
3 elasticity; ability to spring back strongly (a mattress with plenty of spring).
4 a resilient device usu. of bent or coiled metal used esp. to drive clockwork or for cushioning in furniture or vehicles.
5 a the season in which vegetation begins to appear, the first season of the year, in the N. hemisphere from March to May and in the S. hemisphere from September to November. b Astron. the period from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice. c (often foll. by of) the early stage of life etc. d = spring tide.
6 a place where water, oil, etc., wells up from the earth; the basin or flow so formed (hot springs; mineral springs).
7 the motive for or origin of an action, custom, etc. (the springs of human action).
8 sl. an escape or release from prison.
9 the upward curve of a beam etc. from a horizontal line.
10 the splitting or yielding of a plank etc. under strain.
Phrases and idioms:
spring balance a balance that measures weight by the tension of a spring. spring bed a bed with a spring mattress. spring chicken
1 a young fowl for eating (orig. available only in spring).
2 (esp. with neg.) a young person (she's no spring chicken). spring-clean n. a thorough cleaning of a house or room, esp. in spring.
—v.tr. clean (a house or room) in this way. spring fever a restless or lethargic feeling sometimes associated with spring. spring greens the leaves of young cabbage plants. spring a leak develop a leak (orig. Naut., from timbers springing out of position). spring-loaded containing a compressed or stretched spring pressing one part against another. spring mattress a mattress containing or consisting of springs. spring onion an onion taken from the ground before the bulb has formed, and eaten raw in salad. spring roll a Chinese snack consisting of a pancake filled with vegetables etc. and fried. spring tide a tide just after new and full moon when there is the greatest difference between high and low water. spring water water from a spring, as opposed to river or rain water. sprung rhythm a poetic metre approximating to speech, each foot having one stressed syllable followed by a varying number of unstressed.
springless adj. springlet n. springlike adj.
Etymology: OE springan f. Gmc
Useful english dictionary. 2012.