from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A spring formed in the bolt of a lock by cutting a longitudinal slit near its upper edge, thus leaving a strip of unsupported metal which by elastic pressure springs the bolt into its place when it is left by the key.
  • noun The spring at the rear of the body of a vehicle; specifically, a C-spring which rides up at the back of the carriage, the body of the latter being suspended from the forward end.
  • noun A spring backward.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Nor will I forget that back-spring she used to do, off her finger-ends.

    The Bull From The Sea

  • I was unable to see what weapon the Cockney used, but he struck behind him as he almost turned a back-spring, fell and lay still.


  • "The A 1 double-action, back-spring, copper-fastened, broad-gauge telegraph line from here to the moon!"

    What Might Have Been Expected

  • The haft came away in my hand; and as I passed my thumb over the end of it, I could perceive that the blade had snapped off close to the end of the back-spring, so that not even the tenth of an inch of it was left in the handle.

    The Boy Tar

  • But I had nothing to draw the well-riveted nail, and the back-spring resisted all my efforts to detach it.

    The Boy Tar

  • It is true I entertained it at first, but I soon discovered a difficulty not to be got over; and that was the removal of the back-spring.

    The Boy Tar

  • Well, having opened the knife, and drawn my fingers along the blade, and felt it over and over again, in order to get acquainted with its form and fitness; and then, having examined the back-spring, and tried its strength by various openings and shuttings: having done all this, I went to work upon the hard oak.

    The Boy Tar


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