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

  • n. An incandescent particle, especially:
  • n. One thrown off from a burning substance.
  • n. One resulting from friction.
  • n. One remaining in an otherwise extinguished fire; an ember.
  • n. A glistening particle, as of metal.
  • n. A flash of light, especially a flash produced by electric discharge.
  • n. A short pulse or flow of electric current.
  • n. A trace or suggestion, as:
  • n. A quality or feeling with latent potential; a seed or germ: the spark of genius.
  • n. A vital, animating, or activating factor: the spark of revolution.
  • n. Informal A radio operator aboard a ship.
  • n. Electricity The luminous phenomenon resulting from a disruptive discharge through an insulating material.
  • n. Electricity The discharge itself.
  • intransitive v. To give off sparks.
  • intransitive v. To give an enthusiastic response.
  • intransitive v. To operate correctly. Used of the ignition system of an internal-combustion engine.
  • transitive v. To set in motion; activate: The incident sparked a controversy.
  • transitive v. To rouse to action; spur: A cheering crowd sparked the runner to triumph.
  • n. An elegantly dressed, highly self-conscious young man.
  • n. A male suitor; a beau.
  • transitive v. To court or woo.
  • intransitive v. To play the suitor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small particle of glowing matter, either molten or on fire.
  • n. A short or small burst of electrical discharge.
  • n. A small amount of something, such as an idea, that has the potential to become something greater, just as a spark can start a fire.
  • n. A ship's radio operator.
  • n. An electrician.
  • v. To trigger, kindle into activity (an argument, etc).
  • v. To give off a spark or sparks.
  • n. A gallant, a foppish young man.
  • n. A beau, lover.
  • v. To woo, court.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small particle of fire or ignited substance which is emitted by a body in combustion.
  • n. A small, shining body, or transient light; a sparkle.
  • n. That which, like a spark, may be kindled into a flame, or into action; a feeble germ; an elementary principle.
  • n. A brisk, showy, gay man.
  • n. A lover; a gallant; a beau.
  • intransitive v. To sparkle.
  • intransitive v. To produce, or give off, sparks, as a dynamo at the commutator when revolving under the collecting brushes.
  • intransitive v. To play the spark, beau, or lover.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To emit sparks, as of fire or electricity; sparkle or scintillate.
  • In electricity, to produce sparks at points where the continuity of the circuit is interrupted.
  • To affect by sparks, as of electricity; act upon by the emission or transmission of sparks.
  • To splash with dirt.
  • To play the spark or gallant; court.
  • To pay attention to, especially with a view to marriage; court; play the gallant to, in a general sense: as, he is parking Miss Doe; to spark a girl home.
  • n. A particle of ignited substance emitted from a body in combustion; a fiery particle thrown off by burning wood, iron, powder, or other substance.
  • n. Hence A scintillating or flying emanation, literally or figuratively; anything resembling a spark of fire: as, sparks from a gem; a spark of wit.
  • n. A small diamond used with many others to form a setting or frame, as to a cameo or a miniature painting; also, a distinct crystal of diamond with the natural curved edges, suitable for glaziers' use.
  • n. A separate bit or particle of fire or burning matter in an otherwise inert body or mass; hence, a bit of anything, material or immaterial, comparable to this in its nuclear character or possible extension of activity.
  • n. A person of a gay or sprightly character; a gay, lively, showy man (or, rarely, in former use, woman); a “blade” or roysterer.
  • n. A lover; a gallant; a beau.

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

  • n. a momentary flash of light
  • n. Scottish writer of satirical novels (born in 1918)
  • n. merriment expressed by a brightness or gleam or animation of countenance
  • n. electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field
  • v. put in motion or move to act
  • n. a small but noticeable trace of some quality that might become stronger
  • v. emit or produce sparks
  • n. a small fragment of a burning substance thrown out by burning material or by friction


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

Middle English sparke, from Old English spearca. V., from Middle English sparken, from Old English spearcian.
Perhaps of Scandinavian origin or from spark1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English sparke, sperke, from Old English spearca, from Proto-Germanic *sparkōn (cf. Dutch sprank, Middle Low German sparke), from Proto-Indo-European *sp(h)er(e)g- 'to strew, sprinkle' (compare Breton erc'h ‘snow’, Latin spargere ‘to scatter, spread’, sparsus ‘scattered’, Lithuanian sprógti ‘to germinate’, Ancient Greek spargân ‘to swell’, Avestan frasparega ‘branch, twig’, Sanskrit Parjanva ‘rain, rain god’).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

probably Scandinavian, akin to Old Norse sparkr 'sprightly'



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  • "To pay attention to, especially with a view to marriage; court; play the gallant to, in a general sense: as, he is parking Miss Doe; to spark a girl home."

    -- from the Century

    March 23, 2014

  • See sparkie.

    August 7, 2008

  • A lighting technician or Electrician.

    August 7, 2008