spray

1 of 3

noun (1)

1
: a usually flowering branch or shoot
2
: a decorative flat arrangement of flowers and foliage (as on a coffin)
3
: something (such as a jeweled pin) resembling a spray

spray

2 of 3

noun (2)

1
: water flying in small drops or particles blown from waves or thrown up by a waterfall
2
a
: a jet of vapor or finely divided liquid
disinfectant sprays
b
: a device (such as an atomizer or sprayer) by which a spray is dispersed or applied
c(1)
: an application of a spray or by spraying
(2)
: a substance (such as paint) so applied

spray

3 of 3

verb

sprayed; spraying; sprays

transitive verb

1
: to project spray or something resembling spray on or into
spray the table
spraying the wall with bullets
2
: to disperse or apply as a spray
sprayed some perfume

intransitive verb

1
: to break up into spray
2
: to disperse or apply a spray
3
: to emit a stream or spray of urine
a cat may spray to mark its territory
sprayer noun

Examples of spray in a Sentence

Verb She sprayed herself with perfume. The crops are sprayed monthly. We were sprayed by water from the crashing waves. The boys sprayed graffiti on the wall. He sprayed the paint evenly over the surface. She sprayed some perfume into the air. The soda sprayed from the bottle. The blood sprayed onto the wall. They sprayed the crowd with bullets. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This speedster is sure to generate some spray, too. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 12 Feb. 2024 The air was filled with cigar smoke, champagne spray, thumping music and team chants. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Investigators did not say when the spray painting started or how many squirrels were involved, but the first sightings were reported the third week of December. Mark Price, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Steve Dunn, Chicago Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024 The wafting aura emanating from this coming-of-age drama smells like a recognizable teen spirit, which resembles a cross between Axe body spray, spillage from rail-liquor shots, and pheromones. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 30 Jan. 2024 This bidet attachment features a slim design that connects to fresh tap water and fits most toilets, has a comfortable nozzle spray, and is easy to install. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 4 Feb. 2024 Do not follow large vehicles closely — Large vehicles like trucks or buses can create a spray of water that can reduce your visibility. Star-Telegram Bot, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 2 Feb. 2024 Following the success of Youth-Dew (which eventually spawned a fragrance spray by the same name), Lauder went on to create 11 more scents during her lifetime, catapulting her namesake cosmetics business to multimillion-dollar success. Dianna Mazzone, Allure, 1 Feb. 2024
Verb
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against spraying repellent under your clothing. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 In another post on X, San Francisco firefighters said a crowd surrounded the car, broke windows and sprayed graffiti before lighting a firework inside, catching it on fire. Don Sweeney, Sacramento Bee, 11 Feb. 2024 During the demonstrations, some officers could be seen spraying a chemical on protesters. Heather Hollingsworth, Twin Cities, 8 Feb. 2024 But Nolan cut Colbert’s dramatic moment short by spraying him with a hose. Tatiana Tenreyro, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Feb. 2024 These pale green, soft-bodied, sap-sucking insects can be sprayed off of plants with water or controlled with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 8 Feb. 2024 Find it on Amazon Get a Touch of Luxury With This Rain Shower Head Get a gentle but firm spray using this awesome rain shower head. Taylor Gumm, Rolling Stone, 6 Feb. 2024 The cause was Parkinson’s disease, which his family said resulted from exposure to Agent Orange, the toxic chemical sprayed by American aircraft as a defoliant in Vietnam. Trip Gabriel, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024 Other members of the mob threw items, sprayed police with chemical irritants, and stole items from police defending the site. Jeff A. Chamer, Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spray.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English *spræg, spræc

Noun (2)

obsolete English spray to sprinkle, from Middle Dutch sprayen

First Known Use

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1527, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spray was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near spray

Cite this Entry

“Spray.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spray. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

spray

1 of 3 noun
: a usually flowering branch or shoot

spray

2 of 3 noun
1
: liquid flying in fine drops like water blown from a wave
2
a
: a burst of fine mist (as from an atomizer)
b
: a device (as an atomizer) for scattering a spray

spray

3 of 3 verb
1
: to scatter or apply as a spray
2
: to scatter spray on or into
sprayer noun

Medical Definition

spray

1 of 2 noun
: a jet of vapor or finely divided liquid
specifically : a jet of fine medicated vapor used as an application to a diseased part or to charge the air of a room with a disinfectant or deodorant

spray

2 of 2 intransitive verb
: to emit a stream or spray of urine
a cat may spray to mark its territory

Legal Definition

spray

transitive verb
: to disperse among a number of recipients
authorized to spray trust incomeW. M. McGovern, Jr. et al.

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