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SPRING, v.i. [pret. sprung, (sprang, not wholly obsolete;) pp. sprang. Sax. springan; D. and G. springen; Dan. springer; Sw. springa; from the root Brg or Rg; n probably being casual. The primary sense is to leap, to shoot.]

  1. To vegetate and rise out of the ground; to begin to appear; as vegetables. To satisfy the desolate ground, and cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth. – Job xxxviii. In this sense, spring is often or usually followed by up, forth, or out.
  2. To begin to grow. The teeth of the young not sprung. – Ray.
  3. To proceed, as from the seed or cause. Much more good of sin shall spring. – Milton.
  4. To arise; to appear; to begin to appear or exist. When the day began to spring, they let her go. – Judges xxi. Do not blast my springing hopes. – Rowe.
  5. To break forth; to issue into sight or notice. O spring to light; auspicious babe, be born. – Pope.
  6. To issue or proceed, as from ancestors or from a country. Aaron and Moses sprung from Levi.
  7. To proceed from a cause; reason; principle, or other original. The noblest title springs from virtue. They found new hope to spring / Out of despair. – Milton.
  8. To grow; to thrive. What makes all this but Jupiter the king, / At whose command we perish and we spring. – Dryden.
  9. To proceed or issue, as from a fountain or source. Water springs from reservoirs the earth. Rivers spring from lakes or ponds.
  10. To leap; to bound; to jump. The mountain stag that springs / From highth to highth, and bounds along the plains. – Philips.
  11. To fly, back; to start; as, a bow when bent, springs back by its elastic power.
  12. To start or rise suddenly from a covert. Watchful as fowlers when their game will spring. – Olway.
  13. To shoot; to issue with speed and violence. And sudden light / Sprung through the vaulted roof. – Dryden.
  14. To bend or wind from a straight direction or plane surface. Our mechanics say, a piece of timber or a plank springs in seasoning. To spring at, to leap toward; to attempt to reach by a leap. To spring in, to rush in; to enter with a leap or in haste. To spring forth, to leap out; to rush out. To spring on or upon, to leap on; to rush on with haste or violence; to assault.

SPRING, v.t.

  1. To start or rouse, as game; to cause to rise from the earth or from a covert; as, to spring a pheasant.
  2. To produce quickly or unexpectedly. The nurse, surpris'd with fright / Starts up and leaves her bed, and springs a light. – Dryden. [I have never heard such an expression.]
  3. To start; to contrive, or to produce, or propose on a sudden; to produce unexpectedly. The friends to the cause sprang a new project. – Swift. [In lieu of spring, the people in the United States generally use start; to start a new project.]
  4. To cause to explode; as, to spring a mine. – Addison.
  5. To burst; to cause to open; as, to spring a leak. When it is said, a vessel has sprung a leak, the meaning is, the leak has then commenced.
  6. To crack; as, to spring a mast or a yard.
  7. To cause to close suddenly, as the parts of a trap; as, to spring a trap. To spring a butt, in seaman's language, to loosen the end of a plank in a ship's bottom. To spring a leak, to commence leaking; to begin to leak. To spring the luff, when a vessel yields to the helm, and sails nearer to the wind than before. – Mar. Dict. To spring a fence, for to leap a fence, is not a phrase used in this country. – Thomson. To spring an arch, to set off, begin, or commence an arch from an abutment or pier.


A youth. [Not in use.] – Spenser.


In the bindery, the cover of a book which is not made fast to the back, but which springs back when the book is opened.

SPRING'-BOK, n. [D. spring and bok, a buck or he-goat.]

A ruminant mammal of the caprid tribe, the Antelope Euchore or Springer Antelope, which inhabits the plains of South Africa.

SPRINGE, n. [sprinj; from spring.]

A gin; a noose; which being fastened to an elastic body, is drawn close with a sudden spring, by which means it catches a bird.


To catch in a springe; to ensnare. – Beaum.


  1. One who springs; one that rouses game.
  2. A name given to the grampus.
  3. In architecture, the rib of a groin or concentrated vault.

SPRING'HALT, n. [spring and halt.]

A kind of lameness in which a horse suddenly twitches up his legs. – Shak.


A fountain or source. [Useless.] – Herbert.

SPRING'I-NESS, n. [from springy.]

  1. Elasticity; also, the power of springing.
  2. The state of abounding with springs; wetness; spunginess; as of land.


  1. The act or process of leaping, arising, issuing, or proceeding.
  2. Growth; increase. – Ps. lxv.
  3. In building, the side of an arch contiguous to the part on which it rests.


Arising; shooting up; leaping; proceeding; rousing. Springing use, in law, a contingent use; a use which may arise upon a contingency. – Blackstone.


A springe; a noose. [Not in use.] – Carew.

SPRING'-TIDE, n. [spring and tide.]

The tide which happens at or soon after the new and full moon, which rises; higher than common tides. – Mar. Dict. Dryden.


The spring.

SPRING'-WHEAT, n. [spring and wheat.]

A species of wheat to be sown in the spring; so called in distinction from winter wheat.

SPRING'Y, a. [from spring.]

  1. Elastic; possessing the power of recovering itself when bent or twisted.
  2. Having great elastic power. – Arbuthnot.
  3. Having the power to leap; able to leap far.
  4. Abounding with springs or fountains; wet; spungy; as, springy land.


A small quantity scattered; also, an utensil for sprinkling. – Spenser.


  1. To perform the act of scattering a liquid or any fine substance, so that it may fall in small particles. The priest shall sprinkle of the oil with his fingers. – Lev. xiv. Baptism may well enough be performed by sprinkling or effusion of water. – Ayliffe.
  2. To rain moderately; as, it sprinkles.

SPRINK'LE, v.t. [Sax. sprengan; D. sprenkelen, sprengen; G. sprengen; Dan. sprinkler; Ir. spreighim. The L. spargo may be the same word with the letters transposed, n being casual. Class Brg.]

  1. To scatter; to disperse; as a liquid or a dry substance composed of fine separable particles; as, Moses sprinkled handfuls of ashes toward heaven. – Exod. ix.
  2. To scatter on; to disperse on in small drops or particles; to besprinkle; as, to sprinkle the earth with water; sprinkle a floor with sand; to sprinkle paper with iron filings.
  3. To wash; to cleanse; to purify. Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. – Heb. x.


  1. Dispersed in small particles, as a liquid or as dust.
  2. Having a liquid or a fine substance scattered over.


One that sprinkles.


  1. The act of scattering in small drops or parcels. – Hall.
  2. A small quantity falling in distinct drops or parts, or coming moderately; as, a sprinkling of rain or snow.


  1. Dispersing, as a liquid or as dust.
  2. Scattering on, in fine drops or particles.