verb (1)
\ ˈspriŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) \
sprang\ ˈspraŋ How to pronounce sprang (audio) \ or sprung\ ˈsprəŋ How to pronounce sprung (audio) \; sprung; springing\ ˈspriŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce springing (audio) \

Definition of spring

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a(1) : dart, shoot sparks sprang out from the fire
(2) : to be resilient or elastic also : to move by elastic force the lid sprang shut
b : to become warped
2 : to issue with speed and force or as a stream tears spring from our eyes
3a : to grow as a plant
b : to issue by birth or descent sprang from the upper class
c : to come into being : arise towns sprang up across the plains
d archaic : dawn
e : to begin to blow used with upa breeze quickly sprang up
4a : to make a leap or series of leaps springing across the lawn
b : to leap or jump up suddenly sprang from their seats
5 : to stretch out in height : rise
6 : pay used with forI'll spring for the drinks

transitive verb

1 : to cause to spring
2a : to undergo or bring about the splitting or cracking of wind sprang the mast
b : to undergo the opening of (a leak)
3a : to cause to operate suddenly spring a trap
b : to apply or insert by bending
c : to bend by force
4 : to leap over
5 : to produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly
6 : to make lame
7 : to release or cause to be released from confinement or custody sprung them from jail


noun, often attributive

Definition of spring (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a source of supply especially : a source of water issuing from the ground
b : an ultimate source especially of action or motion
3 : a time or season of growth or development specifically : the season between winter and summer comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of March, April, and May or as reckoned astronomically extending from the March equinox to the June solstice
4 : an elastic body or device that recovers its original shape when released after being distorted
5a : the act or an instance of leaping up or forward : bound
b(1) : capacity for springing : resilience
(2) : energy, bounce
6 : the point or plane at which an arch or vault curve springs from its impost


verb (2)
sprung\ ˈsprəŋ How to pronounce sprung (audio) \; springing\ ˈspriŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce springing (audio) \

Definition of spring (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to fit with springs

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Other Words from spring


springlike \ ˈspriŋ-​ˌlīk How to pronounce springlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for spring

Synonyms: Noun

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Verb (1)

spring, arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, issue, emanate, proceed, stem mean to come up or out of something into existence. spring implies rapid or sudden emerging. an idea that springs to mind arise and rise may both convey the fact of coming into existence or notice but rise often stresses gradual growth or ascent. new questions have arisen slowly rose to prominence originate implies a definite source or starting point. the fire originated in the basement derive implies a prior existence in another form. the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception. words flowed easily from her pen issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet. blood issued from the cut emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (such as a thought) from a source. reports emanating from the capital proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause. advice that proceeds from the best of intentions stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development. industries stemming from space research

Examples of spring in a Sentence

Noun We'll plant the seeds next spring. We've had a rainy spring. a beautiful day in early spring The first few weeks of spring were unusually warm. The mattress is old and some of the springs are broken. The cushion has lost its spring.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Think Wedgwood and what often spring to mind are fine china dinner sets and elegant cameo-like pieces called jasperware, with white neoclassical relief designs applied to a matte blue, green or other color background. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, "‘Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries’ Review: A Sumptuous Stoneware Collection," 11 Nov. 2020 The UConn men, after three consecutive losing seasons, began to spring to life late last season, finishing 19-12 and on a winning streak going into the AAC tournament. Dom Amore, courant.com, "UConn basketball fans disappointed but understanding of decision to play Gampel games without them," 3 Nov. 2020 Christie was way ahead of of M. Night Shyamalan in her ability to spring surprises. Chris Hewitt, chicagotribune.com, "8 reasons we’re still reading mystery writer Agatha Christie after 100 years," 21 Oct. 2020 Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods has done something this season that Garrett’s previous coordinators didn’t do much: move him around on the field and spring him on overmatched linemen. cleveland, "This version of Myles Garrett, the gamewrecker, is the one the Browns expected when they drafted him No. 1 overall," 5 Oct. 2020 Quarterback Noah Vedral had the ball in his hands three separate times on the play, including executing the lateral pass to spring Melton, but the highlight was when offensive lineman Raiqwon O'Neal received the ball. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, "Rutgers nearly pulled off one of the craziest touchdowns in college football history," 31 Oct. 2020 Christie was way ahead of of M. Night Shyamalan in her ability to spring surprises. Chris Hewitt, chicagotribune.com, "8 reasons we’re still reading mystery writer Agatha Christie after 100 years," 21 Oct. 2020 Any game designer can code their next creation to run on the device; the gaggle of indie games that spring forth should keep the Playdate feeling fresh for years. Michael Calore, Wired, "Panic's Playdate Is a Retro-Modern Handheld-Gaming Delight," 20 Oct. 2020 Even the large and little rooms that spring off its sides hold out the possibility of an intimate encounter with the past. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "In Love with the Louvre," 19 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In Cook County, where the city of Chicago is located, the seven-day average of new cases hit a record high of 4,654 on Nov. 17 — far outpacing the peak of 1,690 during the spring surge. Washington Post, "Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, while cities and counties set records for coronavirus infections," 26 Nov. 2020 Elias said Bannon will contend for a job in the Orioles’ infield out of spring training, adding that there are varied opinions on what Bannon’s best position is. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "‘The odd couple’: College roomates Zac Lowther, Rylan Bannon excited to share Orioles’ 40-man roster," 24 Nov. 2020 The bodies of hundreds of people who died in the city during spring surge are still in freezer trucks on the Brooklyn waterfront. WSJ, "Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Hospitalization Count Sets 13th Straight Daily Record," 23 Nov. 2020 Remember the free-agent market of 2018-19 that was so slow that the top two hitters, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, didn’t sign until spring training? John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Giants face uncertain offseason amid expected down market," 23 Nov. 2020 The number of people hospitalized per capita in the Midwest has hit a level not seen since the spring surge in the Northeast. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Final Pandemic Surge Is Crashing Over America," 19 Nov. 2020 Before spring training shut down, converted starter Jonathan Hernandez grabbed attention as the most intriguing arm out of the bullpen. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "What a lack of expectations means for the direction of the Rangers’ bullpen in 2021," 19 Nov. 2020 Hayes was born in Lakeland, Florida, the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "New Detroit Pistons pick Killian Hayes has a similar background to Kobe Bryant," 19 Nov. 2020 Standard recovery from the surgery is expected to take around 10 weeks, the Dodgers said in a statement, which should give Bellinger enough time to be fully healthy for spring training. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Dodgers' Cody Bellinger has surgery on shoulder he injured in celebration," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nonnative annual grasses spring up quickly with winter rains but dry out by June. Ula Chrobak, Scientific American, "Severe Wildfires Raise the Chance for Future Monstrous Blazes," 24 Nov. 2020 And can the Beavers, who are two-touchdown underdogs, spring the upset on the Huskies, who are playing their opener after their game last week was canceled? oregonlive, "Pac-12 football score predictions: Will Oregon Ducks pass road test? Will Oregon State upset Huskies?," 13 Nov. 2020 If all goes according to plan, on Nov. 6, La Villita will again spring to life, as up to 1,000 supporters of the San Antonio Conservation Society gather there to eat, drink and be merry. Express-news Staff, ExpressNews.com, "Timeline of coronavirus in San Antonio: October," 2 Nov. 2020 At sunrise, the hills usually spring to life with commuters hitting the winding roads, heading to morning fitness classes or grabbing a quick breakfast and cup of coffee on their way to work. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland hills residents awake to blackouts — and no coffee," 15 Oct. 2020 Think of your typical payday loan customer and young professional women earning above average salaries and enjoying artisan cocktails at the weekends do not spring to mind. Laura Whateley, refinery29.com, "Meet The Women Caught In The Vicious Payday Loans Cycle," 28 Sep. 2020 Apple has a new way for families to communicate with their kids without having to spring for iPhones, which could cost anywhere from starting prices of $399 to $1,100. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Apple Watch 'Family Setup': How it works, what it costs and what it won't do," 16 Sep. 2020 Travel will spring back, and Europe will be more welcoming than ever. Kerri Westenberg, Star Tribune, "Why Europe guru Rick Steves wants travelers to stay home," 21 Aug. 2020 That way, if the virus attacks, the memory T cells will spring into action and activate an immune response including the production of antibodies from B cells. John Chang, The Conversation, "IBD: How a class of killer T cells goes rogue in inflammatory bowel disease," 21 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spring.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spring

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2


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

Verb (2)

1821, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spring

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Old English springan; akin to Old High German springan to jump and perhaps to Greek sperchesthai to hasten

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Time Traveler for spring

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spring

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spring.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spring. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for spring



English Language Learners Definition of spring

: the season between winter and summer : the season when plants and trees begin to grow
: a twisted or coiled piece of metal that returns to its original shape when it is pressed down or stretched
: the ability of something to return to its original shape when it is pressed down, stretched, twisted, etc.


\ ˈspriŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) \
sprang\ ˈspraŋ \ or sprung\ ˈsprəŋ \; sprung; springing

Kids Definition of spring

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move suddenly upward or forward : leap The lion crouched, waiting to spring.
2 : to appear or grow quickly or suddenly Weeds sprang up overnight. Tears sprang from her eyes.
3 : to have (a leak) appear
4 : to move quickly by or as if by stretching and springing back The lid sprang shut.
5 : to cause to operate suddenly He was planning to spring a trap.
6 : to come into being : arise An idea sprang in his mind.



Kids Definition of spring (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the season between winter and summer including in the northern hemisphere usually the months of March, April, and May
2 : a twisted or coiled strip of material (as metal) that recovers its original shape when it is released after being squeezed or stretched
3 : the ability of something to return to its original shape when it is compressed or stretched
4 : a source of supply (as of water coming up from the ground)
5 : the act or an instance of leaping up or forward He … caught sight of the incredible spring of a doe …— Virginia Hamilton, M. C. Higgins
6 : a bouncy or lively quality She had a spring in her step.


\ ˈspriŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) \

Medical Definition of spring

: any of various elastic orthodontic devices used especially to apply constant pressure to misaligned teeth

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