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

  • intransitive verb To begin to grow; give off shoots or buds.
  • intransitive verb To emerge and develop rapidly.
  • intransitive verb To allow or cause to come forth and grow.
  • noun Young plant growth, such as a bud or shoot.
  • noun Something resembling or suggestive of a sprout, as in rapid growth.
  • noun The young shoots of plants such as alfalfa and soybean, usually eaten raw.
  • noun Brussels sprouts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Specifically, used to designate the action of silver during solidification. The molten silver beneath the thin solid crust forces up the crust with explosive violence and a part of it solidifies in the form of trees or sprouts. This action is attributed to the oxygen absorbed by the silver while above the melting-point, and seeking to escape at the point of solidification of the metal. Also vegetate.
  • noun A shoot of a plant.
  • noun Specifically plural Young coleworts.
  • To shoot forth, as a bud from a seed or stock; begin to grow; spring: said of a young vegetable growth, or, by extension, of animal growth.
  • To put forth shoots; bear buds.
  • To spring up; grow upward.
  • To spread into ramifications.
  • To produce or afford by sprouting; grow: as, to sprout antlers; to sprout a mustache.
  • To remove sprouts from: as, to sprout potatoes.
  • noun In forestry, a tree which has grown from a stump or root. A shoot is a sprout which has not reached a height of three feet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cause to sprout.
  • transitive verb To deprive of sprouts.
  • noun The shoot of a plant; a shoot from the seed, from the stump, or from the root or tuber, of a plant or tree; more rarely, a shoot from the stem of a plant, or the end of a branch.
  • noun Young coleworts; Brussels sprouts.
  • noun (Bot.) See under Brussels.
  • intransitive verb To shoot, as the seed of a plant; to germinate; to push out new shoots; hence, to grow like shoots of plants.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To shoot into ramifications.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A new growth on a plant, whether from seed or other parts.
  • noun A child.
  • noun A Brussels sprout.
  • noun An edible germinated seed.
  • verb horticulture To grow, where the initial state is a seed; to germinate.
  • verb To cause to grow from a seed.

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

  • verb produce buds, branches, or germinate
  • noun any new growth of a plant such as a new branch or a bud
  • noun a newly grown bud (especially from a germinating seed)
  • verb put forth and grow sprouts or shoots


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

[Middle English spruten, from Old English -sprūtan (in āsprūtan, to sprout forth); see sper- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • I love brussels sprouts, but I usually only get to eat them at Christmas.

    December 3, 2007

  • "According to a survey in 2002, Brussels sprouts are Britain's most hated vegetable." - Wikipedia.

    SoG, you are a special person.

    December 3, 2007

  • Well a lot has happened since 2002....

    December 3, 2007

  • What? I like brussels sprouts too. Clearly, they need a new survey.

    December 3, 2007

  • Brothers under the skin....

    December 3, 2007

  • I love 'em. Perhaps there's some genetic link between logophilia and sproutitude.

    December 4, 2007

  • I certainly can see a pattern developing here.

    December 4, 2007

  • Uhh... SoG, you mean... the brussels sprouts have skin?!

    December 5, 2007

  • Eeew! Stop that! You're ruining our food! ;-)

    December 5, 2007

  • Here is the solution for those with sprout woes.

    December 10, 2007

  • I love them too. But I always forget to buy them, so I'm experiencing Sproutade (see here).

    April 1, 2008

  • I've been lucky. Just had some glorious brussels sprouts last night. Yum.

    April 1, 2008

  • Ohhh, some local chain restaurant douses them in cheese and butter. Yum!

    April 2, 2008

  • I'm trying to grow broccoli sprouts at home. *Fingers crossed*

    April 2, 2008

  • Green fingers crossed.

    April 2, 2008

  • Good luck, bilby! Hope you don't have the brown thumb I have.

    April 2, 2008

  • All this came about because I tried to buy some in the shop yesterday. And the lady said they didn't stock them because no-one grows them locally. "Tiny plants don't do well when they are trucked 3,000 kilometres," she said. Time to start making my own tiny plants :-)

    April 2, 2008