verb (1)
\ ˈspriŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) \
sprang\ ˈspraŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) \ or sprung\ ˈsprəŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) \; sprung; springing\ ˈspriŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce spring (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 up a 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 for I'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 spring (audio) \; springing\ ˈspriŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce spring (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 spring (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 As a non-roster invitee to spring training, Holland dominated his opponents and forced his way onto the 26-man roster out of camp. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers send reliever Derek Holland to 10-day injured list, call up Kyle Funkhouser," 6 May 2021 More advanced players may have gotten reps last season at alternate training sites, but the bulk of players reported to spring training in late March after scrambling to stay sharp in 2020. Jake Seiner, chicagotribune.com, "Minor-league baseball returns for the 1st time since 2019. Here’s what’s new — including 40 fewer affiliates.," 3 May 2021 As their various names suggest, the worms thrash and snap their bodies intensely like a rattlesnake when touched or held, can spring into the air and even shed their tail to escape, PBS Wisconsin reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Highly Invasive Jumping Worms Have Spread to 15 States," 22 Apr. 2021 The Bruins had stumbled along with a 1-2-4 mark over the previous two weeks that spring and Give ‘em Hell Harry, never short of something to say, or the time to say it, was disgusted by the lack of physical and emotional play from his charges. BostonGlobe.com, "Silence is black-and-golden as Bruins have no comment for third straight day amid COVID crisis," 21 Mar. 2021 The hope now is that more of these objects will spring up, so they can be studied in greater detail. Quanta Magazine, "New Kind of Space Explosion Reveals the Birth of a Black Hole," 10 Mar. 2021 The story launches once again with a damsel-in-distress plotline: A princess is kidnapped, and Arthur must spring into side-scrolling action. Todd Martens Game Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Ghosts ’n Goblins Resurrection’ updates everything but the sexist tropes," 23 Feb. 2021 That's one more reason to stay vigilant, especially as new outbreaks can spring up, even after the advent of a vaccine. Ryan Prior, CNN, "What 3 centuries of smallpox mortality data shows about how epidemics linger," 22 Dec. 2020 But, Livers says, Brooks and Smith can't spring out of bed and throw down a windmill dunk — and Jackson, listed at 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, can. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Why 'freak' Michigan basketball true freshman draws a comparison to Jordan Poole," 13 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Palmer, a Hall of Famer and one of five 20-game winners coached by Mr. Miller with the Orioles, recalled an intrasquad game in Mr. Miller’s first spring training as pitching coach. Washington Post, "Ray Miller, pitching coach and manager for the Baltimore Orioles, dies at 76," 7 May 2021 Manager Brandon Hyde said his earliest impressions of Means were mostly lost amid getting to know as many players as possible that same spring training, his first atop Baltimore’s coaching staff. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "In wake of no-hitter, Orioles pitching coach Chris Holt recalls first impressions of ‘self-made’ John Means," 7 May 2021 The Blue Jays will return to Sahlen Field on June 1 against the Miami Marlins after playing the first two months of the MBL season at TD Ballpark, which is their spring training facility in Dunedin. Curtis Rush, Forbes, "Toronto Blue Jays Returning To Buffalo In June As Temporary MLB Home," 5 May 2021 Though the Diamondbacks had Varsho split time between catcher and the outfield last season and this year in spring training, Lovullo said Wednesday the plan for now is to focus primarily on one spot. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Diamondbacks: Hot-hitting Josh Rojas on what turned his season around," 5 May 2021 Ashcraft, listed at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, reached 100 mph in a spring training game. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Here's where the top Cincinnati Reds prospects are beginning their minor-league seasons," 4 May 2021 Slaten and right-hander Dane Acker, who is at Down East, were the talk of Rangers minor league spring training. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Minor League Opening Day shows how pitching has become the strength of Rangers’ farm system," 4 May 2021 The Dodgers broke spring training this year with a somewhat surprising decision: Dustin May, not David Price or Tony Gonsolin, would assume the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Lakers outlast the Denver Nuggets," 4 May 2021 Upon his return to games, Cameron went 1-for-12 (.083) in spring training with three walks and six strikeouts in 10 games. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers prospect Franklin Perez injured with right shoulder capsule defect," 4 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Welcome to spring 2021: After a year of being battered by the pandemic, the economy is finally showing signs of a strong, steady recovery, and jobs are popping up like crocuses. New York Times, "How to Get Back Into the Job Market," 24 Apr. 2021 From pre-Mother’s Day sales to spring savings events, retailers are taking every opportunity to knock prices down this weekend. Caitlin Chen, Forbes, "The Best Sales Online Right Now, From Deals On Smart TVs To Major Discounts At Saks," 16 Apr. 2021 The dough will start to spring back, but try to get it as close to those dimensions as possible. The Salt Lake Tribune, "How to make stunning croissants at home," 9 Apr. 2021 The Red Sox’ Chillin’ With The Champs approach to spring two seasons ago led to a slow start from which the 2019 team never fully recovered. BostonGlobe.com, "How worried should we be about the Red Sox’ 0-3 start?," 5 Apr. 2021 Zach Lowe include a little Blazers love regarding the new ways Stotts is finding to spring Lillard thanks to the addition of Powell. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Trail Blazers raise ceiling, Nicolas Batum and Clippers needed each other, Kevin Durant apologizes, execs press for buyout changes: NBA news and notes," 2 Apr. 2021 And that’s not just spring training lineup roulette. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "The Leody Taveras experiment as Rangers’ leadoff hitter may already be over," 11 Mar. 2021 Oberg reported to spring training ready to pitch and worked four scoreless innings before the issue returned. BostonGlobe.com, "How Rockies pitcher Scott Oberg, a Tewksbury native, is dealing with his latest setback," 3 Apr. 2021 Released by the Dodgers in December, Nelson decided to rejoin Los Angeles on a minor-league contract that included an invitation to spring training. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Jimmy Nelson makes Dodgers’ roster after three-year injury battle," 1 Apr. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spring.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spring. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on spring

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