Definitions

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

  • n. A small shoot or twig of a plant.
  • n. An ornament in this shape.
  • n. A small brad without a head.
  • n. A young, immature person.
  • transitive v. To decorate with a design of sprigs.
  • transitive v. To remove a sprig or sprigs from (a bush or tree).
  • transitive v. To fasten with a small headless brad.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small shoot or twig of a tree or other plant; a spray.
  • n. A youth; a lad; -- used humorously or in slight disparagement.
  • n. A brad, or nail without a head.
  • n. A small eyebolt ragged or barbed at the point.
  • v. To decorate with sprigs

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small shoot or twig of a tree or other plant; a spray.
  • n. A youth; a lad; -- used humorously or in slight disparagement.
  • n. A brad, or nail without a head.
  • n. A small eyebolt ragged or barbed at the point.
  • transitive v. To mark or adorn with the representation of small branches; to work with sprigs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To decorate with sprigs, as pottery or textile fabrics.
  • To form into a sprig or sprigs.
  • To drive sprigs into.
  • Spruce; smart.
  • n. A sprout; a shoot: a small branch; a spray, as of a tree or plant.
  • n. An offshoot from a human stock; a young person; a scion; a slip: often implying slight disparagement or contempt.
  • n. An ornament or a design in the form of a spray; especially, such a design stamped, woven, or embroidered on a textile fabric.
  • n. A kind of spike.
  • n. See the quotation.
  • n. A small brad or nail without a head.
  • n. A small wedge-shaped piece, usually of tinplate, used to hold the glass in a wooden sash until the putty can be applied and has time to harden.
  • n. In lace-making, one of the separate pieces of lace, usually pillow-made lace, which are fastened upon a net ground or réseau in all kinds of application-lace. They are generally in the form of flowers and leaves (whence the name).
  • n. The sprigtail or pintail duck, Dafila acuta.
  • n. Nautical, a small eye-bolt ragged at the point.
  • n. The sparrow, Passer domesticus.

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

  • n. an ornament that resembles a spray of leaves or flowers
  • n. a small branch or division of a branch (especially a terminal division); usually applied to branches of the current or preceding year

Etymologies

Middle English sprigge, alteration of spring, from Old English, source of water.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • An olive branch or sprig is located above the Roman numerals, with a bound cluster of three arrows below.

    Three Cent Silver, Type 2, 1854-1858 : Coin Guide

  • Mr Hervey pronounced these last words in a manner more than usually animated; and whilst he spoke, Belinda stooped to gather a sprig from a myrtle, which stood on the hearth.

    Belinda

  • A sprig is a piece of the herb, with the stem and leaves attached.

    The Skinnygirl Dish

  • He goes on to state: In the light, I have seen a luminous cloud hover over a heliotrope on a side table, break a sprig off, and carry a sprig to a lady.

    Experiencing the Next World Now

  • Even the odor of the honeysuckle arising from the garden assisted the reality of the vision, by recalling the sprig of the same flower which Reine was twisting round her fingers at their last interview.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • _In the light_, I have seen a luminous cloud hover over a heliotrope on a side-table, break a sprig off, and carry it to a lady; and on some occasions I have seen a similar luminous cloud condense to the form of a hand and carry small objects about.

    The Shadow World

  • Mrs. Chilton stood on the steps, exchanging smiles and polite nothings, and, as one of the party requested permission to break a sprig of geranium growing near, she gracefully offered to collect a bouquet, adding, as she severed some elegant clusters of heliotrope and jasmine:

    Beulah

  • The prize, a degree answering to A. M., poetically described as a sprig of the _Olea fragrans_, was the more coveted as the competitors were all honour men of the first grade, and it was limited to one in a hundred.

    The Awakening of China

  • While we hunted, huge flocks of long-tailed pintails, called sprig by hunters, were overhead most of the day, the graceful birds chirping and circling while we hid below in our steel blinds.

    Bakersfield.com Latest news

  • Piccadilly and Pall Mall need not have been ashamed of him; the regulation coat, waistcoat and trousers were there, a little worn, but still in fashion; the white tie was there, the stiff collar and cuffs, the patent leather pumps, even a white silk handkerchief tucked inside the waistcoat, and some kind of sprig in the buttonhole.

    Ringfield A Novel

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Comments

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  • I usually think of parsley when I hear this word. This is one of my favorite 5-letter words.

    March 26, 2011

  • From the book White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Pg. 137
    "I picked Sprigs of her rosemary and tucked them in my pockets."

    November 1, 2010

  • But it wasn't long before a fox stepped forth from behind a tree and barred their path. He wore a sprig of lilac in his lapel, he carried a cane, and he was grinning so the whole world could see his sharp white teeth.

    - William Steig, The Amazing Bone

    September 29, 2008

  • 1888 G. TRUMBULL Names Birds 38. 1895 Outing XXVI. 30/2 Making a blind good enough for any duck except sprig, which are as wary as wild geese.

    April 14, 2008

  • "A sprig of thyme."

    October 6, 2007