Definition for SPRING


  1. A leap; a bound; a jump; as of an animal. The pris'ner with a spring from prison broke. – Dryden.
  2. A flying back; the resilience of a body recovering its former state by its elasticity; as, the spring of a bow.
  3. Elastic power or force. The soul or the mind requires relaxation that it may recover its natural spring. Heav'ns! what a spring was in his arm. – Dryden.
  4. An elastic body; a body which, when bent or forced from its natural state, has the power of recovering it; as, the spring of a watch or clock.
  5. Any active power; that by which action or motion is produced or propagated. Like nature letting down the springs of life. – Dryden. Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move / The hero's glory. – Pope.
  6. A fountain of water; an issue of water from the earth, or the basin of water at the place of its issue. Springs are temporary or perennial. From springs proceed rivulets, and rivulets united form rivers. Lakes and ponds are usually fed by springs.
  7. The place where water usually issues from the earth, though no water is there. Thus we say, a spring is dry.
  8. A source; that from which supplies are drawn. The real Christian has in his own breast a perpetual and inexhaustible spring of joy. The sacred spring whence right and honor stream. – Davies.
  9. Rise; original; as, the spring of the day. – 1 Sam. ix.
  10. Cause; original. The springs of great events are often concealed from common observation.
  11. The season of the year when plants begin to vegetate and rise; the vernal season. This season comprehends the months of March, April, and May, in the middle latitudes north of the equator.
  12. In seamen's language, a crack in a mast or yard, running obliquely or transversely. [In the sense of leak, I believe, it is not used.]
  13. A rope passed out of a ship's stern, and attached to a cable proceeding from her bow, when she is at anchor. It is intended to bring her broadside to bear upon some object. A spring is also a rope extending diagonally from the stern of one ship to the head of another, to make one ship sheer off to a greater distance. – Mar. Dict.
  14. A plant; a shoot; a young tree. [Not in use.] – Spenser.
  15. A youth. [Not in use.] – Spenser.
  16. A hand; a shoulder of pork, [not in use.] – Beaum.

Return to page 231 of the letter “S”.