Dictionary: SPONS'OR – SPORT

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SPONS'OR, n. [L. supra.]

A surety; one who binds himself to answer for another, and is responsible for his default. In the church, the sponsors in baptism are sureties for the education of the child baptized. – Ayliffe.


Pertaining to a sponsor.


State of being a sponsor.

SPON-TA-NE'I-TY, n. [Fr. spontaneité; It. spontaneità; L. sponte, of free will.]

Voluntariness; the quality of being of free will or accord. – Dryden.

SPON-TA'NE-OUS, a. [L. spontaneus, from sponte, of free will.]

  1. Voluntary; proceeding from one's own will, without other cause; applied to persons; as a spontaneous gift or proposition.
  2. Acting by its own impulse, energy or natural law, without external force, as spontaneous motion; spontaneous growth; spontaneous combustion.
  3. Produced without being planted, or without human labor; as, a spontaneous growth of wood. Spontaneous combustion, a taking fire of itself. Thus oiled canvas, oiled wool, and many other combustible substances, when suffered to remain for some time in a confined state, suddenly take fire, or undergo spontaneous combustion.


  1. Voluntarily; of his own will or accord; used of animals; as, he acts spontaneously.
  2. By its own force or energy; without the impulse of a foreign cause; used of things. Whey turns spontaneously acid. – Arbuthnot.


  1. Voluntariness; freedom of will; accord unconstrained; applied to animals.
  2. Freedom of acting without a foreign cause; applied to things.

SPON-TOON', n. [Fr. and Sp. esponton; It. spontaneo.]

A kind of half pike; a military weapon borne by officers of infantry.

SPOOL, n. [G. spule; D. spoel; Dan. and Sw. spole.]

A piece of cane or reed, or a hollow cylinder of wood with a ridge at each end; used by weavers to wind their yarn upon in order to slaie it and wind it on the beam. The spool is larger than the quill, on which yarn is wound for the shuttle. But in manufactories, the word may be differently applied.

SPOOL, v.t.

To wind on spools.


Wound on a spool.


Winding on spools.


An article holding spools of fine thread, turning on pins, used by ladies at their work.

SPOOM, v.i.

To be driven swiftly; probably a mistake for spoon. [See Spoon, the verb.]

SPOON, n. [Ir. sponog.]

  1. A small domestic utensil, with a bowl or concave part and a handle, for dipping liquids; as, a tea-spoon; a table-spoon.
  2. An instrument consisting of a bowl or hollow iron and a long handle, used for taking earth out of holes dug for setting posts.

SPOON, v.i.

To put before the wind in a gale. [I believe not now used.]

SPOON'-BILL, n. [spoon and bill.]

A fowl of the grallic order, and genus Platulea, so named from the shape of its bill, which is somewhat like a spoon or spatula. Its plumage is white and beautiful.


In seamen's language, a showery sprinkling of sea water, swept from the surface in a tempest. – Mar. Dict.

SPOON'FUL, n. [spoon and full.]

  1. As much as a spoon contains or is able to contain; as, a tea-spoonful; a table-spoonful.
  2. A small quantity of a liquid. – Arbuthnot.

SPOON'-MEAT, n. [spoon and meat.]

Food that is or must be taken with a spoon; liquid food. Diet most upon spoon-meats. Harvey.


A plant of the genus Cochlearia; scurvy grass.

SPO-RAD'IC, or SPO-RAD'IC-AL, a. [Fr. sporadique; Gr. σποραδικος, separate, scattered; whence certain isles of Greece were called Sporades.]

Separate; single; scattered; used only in reference to diseases. A sporadic disease, is one which occurs in single and scattered cases, in distinction from an epidemic and endemic, which affects many persons at the same time. Sporadic diseases are opposed to epidemics and endemics, as accidental, scattered complaints. – Parr.

SPORE, or SPO'RULE, n. [Gr. σπορος, a sowing.]

In botany, that part of flowerless plants, which performs the function of seeds.


In botany, a naked corcle, destitute of radicle, cotyledon and hilum. – Lindley.

SPORT, n. [D. boert, jest; boerten, to jest; boertig, merry, facetious, jocular.]

  1. That which diverts and makes merry; play; game; diversion; also, mirth. The word signifies both the cause and the effect; that which produces mirth, and the mirth or merriment produced. Her sports were such as carried riches of knowledge upon the stream of delight. – Sidney. Here the word denotes the cause of amusement. They called for Samson out of the prison-house; and he made them sport. – Judges xvi. Here sport is the effect.
  2. Mock; mockery; contemptuous mirth. Then make sport at me, then let me be your jest. – Shak. They made a sport of his prophets. – Esdras.
  3. That with which one plays, or which is driven about. To flitting leaves, the sport of every wind. – Dryden. Never does man appear to greater disadvantage than when he is the sport of his own ungoverned passions. – J. Clarke.
  4. Play; idle jingle. An author who should introduce such a sport of words upon our stage, would meet with small applause. – Broome.
  5. Diversion of the field, as fowling, hunting, fishing. – Clarendon. In sport. To do a thing in sport, is to do it in jest, for play or diversion. So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, am not I in sport? – Prov. xxvi.