noun (1)
\ ˈspärk How to pronounce spark (audio) \

Definition of spark

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : a small particle of a burning substance thrown out by a body in combustion or remaining when combustion is nearly completed
b : a hot glowing particle struck from a larger mass especially : one heated by friction
2a : a luminous disruptive electrical discharge of very short duration between two conductors separated by a gas (such as air)
b : the discharge in a spark plug
c : the mechanism controlling the discharge in a spark plug
4 : something that sets off a sudden force provided the spark that helped the team to rally
5 : a latent particle capable of growth or developing : germ still retains a spark of decency
6 sparks plural in form but singular in construction : a radio operator on a ship


verb (1)
sparked; sparking; sparks

Definition of spark (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

1a : to throw out sparks
b : to flash or fall like sparks
2 : to produce sparks specifically : to have the electric ignition working
3 : to respond with enthusiasm

transitive verb

1 : to set off in a burst of activity : activate the question sparked a lively discussion often used with off
2 : to stir to activity : incite sparked her team to victory


noun (2)

Definition of spark (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : a foppish young man
2 : lover, beau


verb (2)
sparked; sparking; sparks

Definition of spark (Entry 4 of 5)


biographical name
\ ˈspärk How to pronounce Spark (audio) \

Definition of Spark (Entry 5 of 5)

Dame Muriel (Sarah) 1918–2006 née Camberg British writer

Other Words from spark

Verb (1)

sparker noun

Noun (2)

sparkish \ ˈspär-​kish How to pronounce sparkish (audio) \ adjective

Verb (2)

sparker noun

First Known Use of spark

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1787, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spark

Noun (1)

Middle English sparke, from Old English spearca; akin to Middle Dutch sparke spark and perhaps to Latin spargere to scatter

Noun (2)

perhaps from spark entry 1

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Time Traveler for spark

Time Traveler

The first known use of spark was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Spark.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for spark


\ ˈspärk How to pronounce spark (audio) \

Kids Definition of spark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small bit of burning material Sparks flew from a fire.
2 : a hot glowing bit struck from a mass (as by steel on flint)
3 : a short bright flash of electricity between two points
5 : trace entry 1 sense 2 He showed a spark of interest.


sparked; sparking

Kids Definition of spark (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give off or cause to give off small bits of burning material or short bright flashes of electricity The burning wood crackled and sparked. The wires made contact and sparked.
2 : to set off The question sparked a discussion.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spark

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spark

Spanish Central: Translation of spark

Nglish: Translation of spark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spark for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about spark

Comments on spark

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