Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Informal Precisely; squarely: fell spang into the middle of the puddle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To strike or ricochet with a loud report
  • adv. Suddenly; slap, smack.
  • n. A shiny ornament or object; a spangle
  • v. To set with bright points: star or spangle.
  • v. To hitch; fasten.
  • n. A span.
  • v. To leap; spring.
  • v. To cause to spring; set forcibly in motion; throw with violence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bound or spring.
  • n. A spangle or shining ornament.
  • intransitive v. To spring; to bound; to leap.
  • transitive v. To spangle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To set with bright points: star or spangle.
  • To leap; spring.
  • To cause to spring; set forcibly in motion; throw with violence.
  • To hitch; fasten.
  • n. A shining ornament or object; a spangle.
  • n. A spring; a leaping or springing up; a violent blow or movement.
  • n. A span.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. leap, jerk, bang

Etymologies

Probably from dialectal spang, to leap, jerk, bang, probably of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English spang ("a small piece of ornamental metal; spangle; small ornament; a bowl or cup"), likely from Middle Dutch spange ("buckle, clasp") or Old English spang ("buckle, clasp") (Wiktionary)
Onomatopoeia (Wiktionary)
Probably from spring (verb) or spank (verb) (Wiktionary)
See span (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Englishman will mak a spang at it --- But I wash my hands o't

    Rob Roy

  • The boy's ears were assailed by the sharp "spang" and "crack" of long-barreled antiaircraft guns and the "whomp" and the

    The HurricaneStory

  • This time, as twice before, the broad round boom of a smooth-bore, so different from the short sharp "spang" of a rifle.

    The Death Shot A Story Retold

  • Englishman will mak a spang at it — But I wash my hands o’t — Follow me sir” (to Andrew), “and I’se show ye where to pit the beasts.”

    Rob Roy

  • Set roasted beef and pudding on the opposite side o 'the pit o' Tophet, and an Englishman will mak a spang at it -- But I wash my hands o't -- Follow me sir "(to Andrew)," and I'se show ye where to pit the beasts. "

    Rob Roy — Complete

  • One could almost judge the strength of the opposing forces as the Jerries were using mostly spandaus, the peculiar spang of which is unmistakable.

    Walter (Bill) Gossner

  • Except during yogic nonconceptual cognition of nondenumerable voidness when the process of ridding ourselves forever (spang-ba, abandoning) unawareness begins, unawareness (ma-rig-pa, ignorance) accompanies all moments of conceptual and nonconceptual cognition.

    7 Non-Gelug Variations Concerning General Tantra

  • And spang it: half the people go, what's he talking about?

    Ridley Scott Still Hates SciFi

  • The spiteful spang of atomite sent Bert and Daniels to the window.

    "The Barrier" by Harl Vincent, part 5

  • Given how much of Paris looks like the Belle Epoque, having something that looks like a pile of HVAC spang in the middle of it is just an insult to everyone concerned.

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Completely, squarely.

    June 26, 2008