Open main menu
See also: Spring

Contents

EnglishEdit

 
English Wikipedia has articles on:
Wikipedia

EtymologyEdit

As a verb, from Middle English springen (to burst or flow forth, to sprout, to emerge, to happen, to become known, to sprinkle), from Old English springan (to burst or flow forth, to sprout, to emerge, to become known), cognate with West Frisian springe, Dutch & German springen, Danish springe, Swedish springa. Further etymology is uncertain, but usually taken to derive from a Proto-Germanic verb reconstructed as *springaną (to burst forth), from a Proto-Indo-European root reconstructed *sperǵʰ- whose other descendants may include Lithuanian spreñgti (to push (in)), Old Church Slavonic прѧсти (pręsti, to spin, to stretch), Latin spargere (to sprinkle, to scatter), Ancient Greek σπέρχω (spérkhō, to hasten), Sanskrit स्पृहयति (spṛháyati, to be eager). Some newer senses derived from the noun.

As a noun, from Middle English spring (a wellspring, tide, branch, sunrise, kind of dance or blow, ulcer, snare, flock), from Old English spring (wellspring, ulcer) and Old English spryng (a jump), from ablaut forms of the Proto-Germanic verb. Further senses derived from the verb and from clippings of day-spring, springtime, spring tide, etc. Its sense as the season, first attested in a work predating 1325, gradually replaced Old English lencten (spring, Lent) as that word became more specifically liturgical.

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: sprĭng, IPA(key): /spɹɪŋ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋ
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (file)

VerbEdit

spring (third-person singular simple present springs, present participle springing, simple past sprang or sprung, past participle sprung)

  1. (intransitive) To burst forth, particularly
    1. (of liquids) To gush, to flow suddenly and violently.
      • Beowulf, ll. 2966–7:
        ...for swenge swat ædrum sprong
        forð under fexe.
        ...for the swing, the blood from his veins sprang
        forth under his hair.
      • c. 1540, John Bellenden translating Livy as History of Rome, Vol. I, i, xxii, p. 125:
        ...þe wound þat was springand with huge stremes of blude...
      The boat sprang a leak and began to sink.
    2. (of water, now rare without "out" or "up") To gush, to flow out of the ground.
    3. (of light) To appear, to dawn.
      • 1611, Bible (KJV), Judges, 19:25:
        ...so the man tooke his concubine, and brought her foorth vnto them, and they knew her, and abused her all the night vntil the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her goe.
    4. (of plants) To sprout, to grow, (figuratively) to arise, to come into existence.
      During the rainy season, grass springs amid the sand and flowers blossom across the desert.
      He hit the gas and the car sprang to life.
    5. (of fire) To fly up or out.
    6. (of animals and figuratively, now usually with adverbs of direction) To move with great speed and energy: to leap, to jump; to dart, to sprint; (of people) to rise rapidly from a seat, bed, &c.
      • c. 1250, Life of St Margaret, Trin. Col. MS B.14.39 (323), f. 22v:
        ...into helle spring...
      • 1474, William Caxton translator, Game and Playe of the Chesse, iii, vii, 141:
        Ye kynge... sprange out of his chare and resseyuyd them worshipfully.
      • 1722, Ambrose Philips, The Briton:
        ...the Mountain Stag, that springs
        From Height to Height, and bounds along the Plains,
        Nor has a Master to restrain his Course...
      • 1827, Clement Clarke Moore, "(A Visit from St. Nicholas)":
        ...out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
        I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
        However, with the dainty volume my quondam friend sprang into fame. At the same time he cast off the chrysalis of a commonplace existence.
      • 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter 5, in Tarzan of the Apes:
        Thus she advanced; her belly low, almost touching the surface of the ground—a great cat preparing to spring upon its prey.
      • 2011 April 11, The Atlantic:
        Reporters sprang to the conclusion that the speech would make detailed new commitments...
      Deer spring with their hind legs, using their front hooves to steady themselves.
      He sprang to his feet.
      A bow, when bent, springs back by its elastic power.
      Don't worry. She'll spring back to her cheerful old self in no time.
      It was the first thing that sprang to mind.
      She sprang to her husband's defense and clocked the protestor.
    7. (hunting, esp. of birds) To rise from cover.
    8. (of knowledge, usually with "wide", obsolete) To become known, to spread.
    9. (of odors, obsolete) To emit, to spread.
    10. (of landscape) To come dramatically into view.
    11. (obsolete) To rise in social position or military rank, to be promoted.
    12. (usually with "from") To be born, descend, or originate from; (figuratively, religion, philosophy, &c.) to descend or originate from.
      He sprang from peasant stock.
      The Stoics sprang from the Cynics.
    13. (now chiefly botanical) To grow taller or longer.
  2. (transitive, of beards, archaic) To grow.
  3. (transitive) To cause to burst forth, particularly
    1. (of water, rare) To cause to well up or flow out of the ground.
    2. (of plants and figuratively, now rare) To bring forth or (obsolete) permit to bring forth new shoots, leaves, &.
    3. (of knowledge, obsolete) To cause to become known, to tell of.
    4. (of animals and figuratively) To cause to move energetically; (equestrianism) to cause to gallop, to spur.
      • 1986 April 25, Horse & Hound, p. 40:
        Just before the last pair of cones he sprung his ponies.
      • 2003 July 10, Daily Telegraph, p. 7:
        Simple tricks such as an ‘ollie’—springing the board into mid-air—can be picked up in just a couple of weeks.
    5. (hunting, esp. of birds) To cause to rise from cover.
      His dogs sprang the grouse and partridges and flushed the woodcock.
    6. (military, of weapons, obsolete) To shift quickly from one designated position to another.
      • 1833, Regulations for the Instruction... of the Cavalry, i, i, 29:
        Each man springs his ramrod as the officer passes him, and then returns it.
    7. (of horses, rare, obsolete) To breed with, to impregnate.
      • 1585, Thomas Washington translating Nicolas De Nicolay as The Navigations, Peregrinations, and Voyages, Made into Turkie..., Bk. IV, p. 154:
        ...[they] sought the fairest stoned horses to spring their mares...
    8. (of mechanisms) To cause to work or open by sudden application of pressure.
      He sprang the trap.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To make wet, to moisten.
  5. (intransitive, usually with "to" or "up") To rise suddenly, (of tears) to well up.
    The documentary made tears spring to their eyes.
  6. (intransitive, now usually with "apart" or "open") To burst into pieces, to explode, to shatter; (military, obsolete) to go off.
    • 1698, François Froger, A Relation of a Voyage Made... on the Coasts of Africa, p. 30:
      On the 22nd the mines sprang, and took very good effect.
    • 2012 April 21, Sydney Morning Herald, p. 5:
      The whole contraption appears liable to spring apart at any moment.
  7. (transitive, military) To cause to explode, to set off, to detonate.
    • 1625, Samuel Purchas, Purchas His Pilgrimes, Vol. II, x, ix:
      They sprung another Mine... wherein was placed about sixtie Barrels of Powder.
  8. (intransitive, nautical, usually perfective) To crack.
    • 2011, Julian Stockwin, Conquest, p. 177:
      Probably the mast had sprung in some squall.
  9. (transitive, nautical) To have something crack.
    • 1582 August 2, Richard Madox, diary:
      The Edward sprang hir foremast.
  10. (transitive, nautical) To cause to crack.
    • a. 1653, Zacharie Boyd, "Zion's Flowers":
      A boisterous wind...
      Springs the... mast...
  11. (transitive, originally figuratively) To surprise by sudden or deft action, particularly
    1. To come upon and flush out; (Australia slang) to catch in an illegal act or compromising position.
      • 1819, James Hardy Vaux, "A New and Comprehensive Vocabulary of the Flash Language", Memoirs, Vol. II, s.v. "Plant":
        To spring a plant, is to find any thing that has been concealed by another.
      • 1980, John Hepworth & al., Boozing Out in Melbourne Pubs..., p. 42:
        He figured that nobody would ever spring him, but he figured wrong.
    2. (obsolete) To begin something.
    3. (obsolete) To produce, provide, or (rare) place an item unexpectedly.
      • 1700, John Dryden translating Ovid as "Cinyras and Myrrha" in Fables, p. 178:
        Surpriz'd with Fright,
        She starts, and leaves her Bed, and springs a Light.
      • 1851, Henry Mayhew, London Labour and London Poor, Vol. I, p. 53:
        It's a feast at a poor country labourer's place, when he springs six-penn'orth of fresh herrings.
    4. (rare, obsolete, slang) To put bad money into circulation.
    5. (of jokes, gags, &c., obsolete) To tell, to share.
    6. (of news, surprises, &c.) To announce unexpectedly, to reveal.
      • 2012 February 29, Aidan Foster-Carter, “North Korea: The Denuclearisation Dance Resumes”, in BBC News[1]:
        North Korea loves to spring surprises. More unusual is for its US foe to play along.
      Sorry to spring it on you like this but I've been offered another job.
    7. (transitive, slang, originally US) To free from imprisonment, especially by facilitating an illegal escape.
      His lieutenants hired a team of miners to help spring him.
    8. (intransitive, slang, now rare) To be free of imprisonment, especially by illegal escape.
  12. (transitive, architecture, of arches) To build, (especially) to form the initial curve of.
    They sprung an arch over the lintel.
  13. (intransitive, architecture, of arches, with "from") To extend, to curve.
    The arches spring from the front posts.
  1. (transitive, nautical) To turn a vessel using a spring attached to its anchor cable.
  2. (transitive, nautical, obsolete) To raise a vessel's sheer.
  3. (transitive, cobblery, rare, obsolete) To raise a last's toe.
  4. (transitive) To pay or spend a certain sum, to cough up.
  5. (intransitive, rare, obsolete, slang) To raise an offered price.
  6. (transitive, US dialectal) Alternative form of sprain.
  7. (transitive, US dialectal) Alternative form of strain.
  8. (intransitive, rare, obsolete) To act as a spring: to strongly rebound.
  9. (transitive, rare) To equip with springs, especially (of vehicles) to equip with a suspension.
  10. (transitive, rare, obsolete) To provide spring or elasticity; (figuratively, rare, obsolete) to inspire, to motivate.
  11. (transitive) To deform owing to excessive pressure, to become warped; (now) to intentionally deform in order to position and then straighten in place.
    • 1873 July, Routledge's Young Gentleman's Magazine, p. 503:
      Don't drive it in too hard, as it will ‘spring’ the plane-iron, and make it concave.
    A piece of timber sometimes springs in seasoning.
    He sprang in the slat.
  12. (intransitive, now rare) To reach maturity, to be fully grown.
  13. (intransitive, Britain dialectal, chiefly of cows) To swell with milk or pregnancy.
  1. (transitive, of rattles, archaic) To sound, to play.
    • 1850, Samuel Prout Newcombe, Pleasant pages, page 197:
      I do not know how John and his mistress would have settled the fate of the thief, but just at this moment a policeman entered — for the cook had sprung the rattle, and had been screaming "Murder" and "Thieves."
  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To spend the springtime somewhere, especially (of animals) to find or get enough food during springtime.

Usage notesEdit

  • The past-tense forms sprang and sprung are both well attested historically. In modern usage, sprang is comparatively formal (and more often considered correct), sprung comparatively informal. The past participle, however, is overwhelmingly sprung; sprang as a past participle is attested, but is no longer in standard use.

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

NounEdit

 
Spring (season) in Germany
 
A coil spring (mechanical device)

spring (countable and uncountable, plural springs)

  1. (countable) An act of springing: a leap, a jump.
  2. (countable) The season of the year in temperate regions in which plants spring from the ground and into bloom and dormant animals spring to life, variously reckoned as
    • 2012 March-April, Anna Lena Phillips, “Sneaky Silk Moths”, in American Scientist[2], volume 100, number 2, page 172:
      Last spring, the periodical cicadas emerged across eastern North America. Their vast numbers and short above-ground life spans inspired awe and irritation in humans—and made for good meals for birds and small mammals.
    Spring is the time of the year most species reproduce.
    You can visit me in the spring, when the weather is bearable.
    1. (astronomy) The period from the moment of vernal equinox (around March 21 in the Northern Hemisphere) to the moment of the summer solstice (around June 21); the equivalent periods reckoned in other cultures and calendars.
      Chinese New Year always occurs in January or February but is called the "Spring Festival" throughout East Asia because it is reckoned as the beginning of their spring.
    2. (meteorology) The three months of March, April, and May in the Northern Hemisphere and September, October, and November in the Southern Hemisphere.
      I spent my spring holidays in Morocco.
      The spring issue will be out next week.
  3. (uncountable, figuratively) The time of something's growth; the early stages of some process.
    • 1611, Bible (KJV), 1 Samuel 9:26:
      ...and it came to passe about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house...
    • (Can we date this quote?), Shakespeare, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      O how this spring of love resembleth
      The uncertain glory of an April day.
  4. (countable) Something which springs, springs forth, springs up, or springs back, particularly
    1. (geology) A spray or body of water springing from the ground.
      This beer was brewed with pure spring water.
    2. (oceanography, obsolete) The rising of the sea at high tide.
    3. (oceanography) Short for spring tide, the especially high tide shortly after full and new moons.
    4. A mechanical device made of flexible or coiled material that exerts force and attempts to spring back when bent, compressed, or stretched.
      We jumped so hard the bed springs broke.
    5. (nautical) A line from a vessel's end or side to its anchor cable used to diminish or control its movement.
      • 1836, Frederick Marryat, Mr. Midshipman Easy, Vol. III, p. 72:
        He had warped round with the springs on his cable, and had recommenced his fire upon the Aurora.
    6. (nautical) A line laid out from a vessel's end to the opposite end of an adjacent vessel or mooring to diminish or control its movement.
      You should put a couple of springs onto the jetty to stop the boat moving so much.
      • 1769, William Falconer, An Universal Dictionary of the Marine, s.v.:
        Spring is likewise a rope reaching diagonally from the stern of a ship to the head of another which lies along-side or a-breast of her.
      • 2007 January 26, Business Times:
        Springs’ are the ropes used on a ship that is alongside a berth to prevent fore and aft movements.
    7. (figuratively) A race, a lineage.
    8. (figuratively) A youth.
    9. A shoot, a young tree.
    10. A grove of trees; a forest.
    11. (countable, slang) Synonym of erection of the penis.
  5. (countable, nautical, obsolete) A crack which has sprung up in a mast, spar, or (rare) a plank or seam.
    • 1846, Arthur Young, Nautical Dictionary, p. 292:
      A spar is said to be sprung, when it is cracked or split,... and the crack is called a spring.
  6. (uncountable) Springiness: an attribute or quality of springing, springing up, or springing back, particularly
    1. Elasticity: the property of a body springing back to its original form after compression, stretching, &c.
      the spring of a bow
    2. Elastic energy, power, or force.
  7. (countable) The source from which an action or supply of something springs.
    • 1611, Bible (KJV), Psalms 87:7:
      As wel the singers as the players on instruments shall bee there: all my springs are in thee.
    • 1693, Richard Bentley, The Folly and Unreasonableness of Atheism..., Sermon 1:
      Such a man can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth him, he can patiently suffer all things with cheerfull submission and resignation to the Divine Will. He has a secret Spring of spiritual Joy, and the continual Feast of a good Conscience within, that forbid him to be miserable.
    • 1748, David Hume, Enquiries Concerning the Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals, London: Oxford University Press, published 1973, §9:
      [] discover, at least in some degree, the secret springs and principles, by which the human mind is actuated in its operations?
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 1:
      ‘Have you ever contemplated, Adrian, the phenomenon of springs?’
      ‘Coils, you mean?’
      ‘Not coils, Adrian, no. Coils not. Think springs of water. Think wells and spas and sources. Well-springs in the widest and loveliest sense. Jerusalem, for instance, is a spring of religiosity. One small town in the desert, but the source of the world’s three most powerful faiths... Religion seems to bubble from its sands.’
  8. (countable) Something which causes others or another to spring forth or spring into action, particularly
    1. A cause, a motive, &c.
      • (Can we date this quote?), Alexander Pope, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
        Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move
        The hero's glory, or the virgin's love.
    2. (obsolete) A lively piece of music.

Usage notesEdit

Note that season names are usually uncapitalized in modern English (for example, spring), except when personified (Old Man Winter). This is contrast to the days of the week and months of the year, which are always capitalized (Thursday or September).

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Coordinate termsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit

Seasons in English · seasons (layout · text)
spring summer fall, autumn winter

ReferencesEdit


DanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Verbal noun to springe.

NounEdit

spring n (singular definite springet, plural indefinite spring)

  1. spring, jump, vault, leap

DeclensionEdit

Related termsEdit

VerbEdit

spring

  1. imperative of springe

DutchEdit

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

spring

  1. first-person singular present indicative of springen
  2. imperative of springen

GermanEdit

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

spring

  1. Imperative singular of springen.
  2. (colloquial) First-person singular present of springen.

IcelandicEdit

Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old English spring, spryng.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /sprinɡ/, [spriŋɡ]

NounEdit

spring (plural springes)

  1. spring, (natural) fountain, font.
  2. sprout, shoot
  3. sunrise
  4. leap, jump
  5. (rare) spring (season)

DescendantsEdit

See alsoEdit

Seasons in Middle English · sesounes (layout · text)
lenten, spring somer hervest, autumpne winter

Norwegian BokmålEdit

VerbEdit

spring

  1. imperative of springe

Norwegian NynorskEdit

VerbEdit

spring

  1. present of springa

ScotsEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

spring (plural springs)

  1. spring, springtime
  2. growth of vegetation in springtime

VerbEdit

tae spring (third-person singular simple present springs, present participle springin, simple past sprang, past participle sprung)

  1. to spring
  2. to leap over, cross at a bound
  3. to put forth, send up or out
  4. to burst, split, break apart, break into
  5. to dance a reel

SwedishEdit

NounEdit

spring n

  1. a running (back and forth)
    • 1918, Goss-skolan i Plumfield, the Swedish translation of Louisa M. Alcott, Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys (1871)
      Eftermiddagen tillbragtes med att ordna sakerna, och när springet och släpet och hamrandet var förbi, inbjödos damerna att beskåda anstalten.
      The afternoon was spent in arranging things, and when the running and lugging and hammering was over, the ladies were invited to behold the institution.

DeclensionEdit

Declension of spring 
Uncountable
Indefinite Definite
Nominative spring springet
Genitive springs springets

VerbEdit

spring

  1. imperative of springa.