Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move upward or forward in a single quick motion or a series of such motions; leap.
  • intransitive verb To move suddenly, especially because of being resilient or moved by a spring.
  • intransitive verb To start doing something suddenly.
  • intransitive verb To appear or come into being quickly.
  • intransitive verb To issue or emerge suddenly.
  • intransitive verb To arise from a source; develop: synonym: stem.
  • intransitive verb To extend or curve upward, as a rafter or arch.
  • intransitive verb To become warped, split, or cracked. Used of wood.
  • intransitive verb To move out of place; come loose, as parts of a mechanism.
  • intransitive verb Slang To buy something or pay an expense.
  • intransitive verb To cause to leap, dart, or come forth suddenly.
  • intransitive verb To release from a checked or inoperative position.
  • intransitive verb To present or disclose unexpectedly or suddenly.
  • intransitive verb Slang To cause to be released from prison or other confinement.
  • intransitive verb To cause to warp, split, or crack, as a mast.
  • intransitive verb To have (a mast, for example) warp, split, or crack.
  • noun An elastic device, such as a coil of wire, that regains its original shape after being compressed or extended.
  • noun Elasticity; resilience.
  • noun Energetic bounce.
  • noun The act or an instance of jumping or leaping.
  • noun A usually rapid return to normal shape after removal of stress; recoil.
  • noun A small stream of water flowing naturally from the earth.
  • noun A source, beginning, or motive.
  • noun The season of the year between winter and summer, during which the weather becomes warmer and plants revive, extending in the Northern Hemisphere from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice and popularly considered to include the months of March, April, and May. In the Southern Hemisphere austral spring includes September, October, and November.
  • noun A time of growth and renewal.
  • noun A warping, bending, or cracking, as that caused by excessive force.
  • noun Architecture The point at which an arch or vault rises from its support.
  • adjective Of or acting like a spring; resilient.
  • adjective Having or supported by springs.
  • adjective Relating to or occurring in spring.
  • adjective Grown during the season of spring.
  • idiom (spring a leak) To starting leak a fluid suddenly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To leap up; jump.
  • To move with leaps; bound along; rush.
  • Specifically To start up; rise suddenly, as a bird from a covert.
  • To be impelled with speed or violence; shoot; fly; dart.
  • To start, recoil, fly back, etc., as from a forced position; escape from constraint; give; relax; especially, to yield to natural elasticity or to the force of a spring. See spring, n., 9.
  • To be shivered or shattered; split; crack.
  • To come into being; begin to grow; shoot up; come up; arise; specifically, of the day, to dawn: said of any kind of genesis or beginning, and often followed by up.
  • To take one's birth, rise, or origin (from or out of any one or any thing); be derived; proceed, as from a specified source, stock, or set of conditions.
  • To come into view or notice; be spread by popular report; gain fame or prevalence.
  • To rise above a given level; have a relatively great elevation; tower.
  • To warp, or become warped; bend or wind from a straight line or plane surface, as a piece of timber or plank in seasoning.
  • To bend to the oars and make the boat leap or spring forward, as in an emergency: often in the form of an order: as, “Spring ahead hard, men!”
  • Synonyms Leap, Jump, etc. See skip, intransitive verb

Etymologies

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

[Middle English springen, from Old English springan. N., Middle English springe, from Old English spring, wellspring.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English springen, from Old English springan, from Proto-Germanic *springanan (compare West Frisian springe, Dutch/German springen, Swedish springa), from Proto-Indo-European *spr̥g̑h (compare Lithuanian spreñgti ‘to push in’, Old Church Slavonic pręgti ‘to spin, stretch’, Ancient Greek spérchesthai ‘to hasten’, Sanskrit spṛhayati ‘is eager’).

Examples

  • This ligament contains a considerable amount of elastic fibers, so as to give elasticity to the arch and spring to the foot; hence it is sometimes called the “spring” ligament.

    III. Syndesmology. 7e. Intertarsal Articulations

  • _sleeve_ or _thimble_ and it usually forms one of the main terminals of the jack; the spring, forming the other principal terminal, is called the _tip spring_, since it engages the tip of the plug.

    Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1 A General Reference Work on Telephony, etc. etc.

  • But sparrows splashed in the pools of sunshine; in a lull the darky's voice came again, chanting passionately, "In de spring, spring, _spring_!" and Carl clamored: "I've _got_ to get out to-day.

    The Trail of the Hawk A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life

  • I dumped the term spring cleaning from my personal lexicon many years ago.

    Brooms, Swiffers and Descartes

  • "We are hopeful B.J. will be able to go through spring with it being his non-throwing shoulder and be able to participate in spring from a mental standpoint," coach Skip Holtz said.

    South Florida - Team Notes

  • Nor does the term spring to mind when some scary wackadoo runs amok at a university and starts shooting everything that moves.

    That Pesky Constitution

  • Nor does the term spring to mind when some scary wackadoo runs amok at a university and starts shooting everything that moves.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • Perhaps the most common way to fish a plastic frog in spring is with a slow stop-and-go retrieve along the outside edges of shoreline cover.

    Tossing Frogs

  • Define the term spring and give an example of a spring in the area.

    Chapter 11

  • And I am here to tell you that a great many of the ills that have overtaken Britain spring from the Socialist regime - the lack of incentive, the feeling that the Government is going to do everything for everybody, at somebody's expense.

    So It's Dulles Ditchwater

Comments

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  • spring sprang in the scene,

    hardly caring which play, said:

    "GET OUTTA MY WAY!"

    April 21, 2007

  • I (dis)like the variety of meanings this words has.

    June 9, 2008

  • There are so many positions of love;

    each curve on a

    branch,

    the thousand ways your eyes can hold us,

    the infinite shapes each mind

    can draw,

    the spring orchestra of scents and sounds...

    - Hafiz, 'Love Poems From God', translation by Daniel Ladinsky.

    October 12, 2008

  • A BBC program recently referred to the Arab Spring several times. Perhaps the analogy is with the Prague Spring. I don't feel that any of the definitions - and there are many - quite encompass the nuances of this political meaning. AHD 26 has the rudiments. CD 31 is in the vicinity though not quite there.

    April 22, 2011

  • Here in Paris, the French media use the phrase "le printemps arabe" constantly.

    April 22, 2011

  • You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.

    Pablo Neruda

    January 15, 2012