spring

1 of 3

verb (1)

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

intransitive verb

1
a(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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
2
a
: to undergo or bring about the splitting or cracking of
wind sprang the mast
b
: to undergo the opening of (a leak)
3
a
: 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

spring

2 of 3

noun

often attributive
1
a
: a source of supply
especially : a source of water issuing from the ground
b
: an ultimate source especially of action or motion
2
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
5
a
: the act or an instance of leaping up or forward : bound
b(1)
: capacity for springing : resilience
(2)
6
: the point or plane at which an arch or vault curve springs from its impost
springlike adjective

spring

3 of 3

verb (2)

sprung ˈsprəŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) ; springing ˈspriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce spring (audio)

transitive verb

: to fit with springs
Choose the Right Synonym for spring

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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
His arrival to spring training in March was delayed by another bout with COVID. Meghan Montemurro, Chicago Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 Looking to sign a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The Enquirer, 22 Oct. 2022 In the clip, Hilton requests that Faux Tom sing for her, prompting him to spring into action with a pretty decent cover. Emlyn Travis, EW.com, 21 Oct. 2022 This collision caused star formation to spring into motion around the galaxy’s outer ring. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 5 Oct. 2022 And all of those germs have been waiting in the corner for their chance to spring back into action. Stephanie Emma Pfeffer, Peoplemag, 27 Oct. 2022 On one of those snaps, Tennessee tried to spring Willis on an end-around, but Tannehill lost the football, and the Colts recovered at the Indianapolis 45-yard line with 11:06 left in the fourth quarter. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 24 Oct. 2022 Tobasco has been working on this for years, studying equations that describe thin elastic materials — stuff that responds to a deformation by trying to spring back to its original shape. Stephen Ornes, Quanta Magazine, 22 Sep. 2022 Sometimes the Ravens have blocked well enough to spring a long run, only to watch the ball go elsewhere. Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun, 22 Sep. 2022
Noun
The single-piece midsole and outsole proved remarkably resilient, which testers noted felt like a spring propelling them forward with each step. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 10 Nov. 2022 The deluge was part of a spring of flooding across the country that prevented plantings on 20 million acres of insured farmland, according to the American Farm Bureau. Journal Sentinel, 2 Nov. 2022 What was supposed to be a planting-and-waiting season of six months to see what fruit LA might bear has turned into a diverse and eternal spring of a career, with varied raucous, dignified, and transformational parts. Zandria Robinson, Glamour, 25 Oct. 2022 A few months later in December, those brave enough to stick around will gather to celebrate Mzebudoba, the solstice and precious winter stillness that will guide them into a fertile spring. Melanie Hamilton, CNN, 10 Oct. 2022 But Sheron wasn't the only QB who'd been through a spring with then-offensive coordinator Liam Coen, and Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen were bigger threats to Levis. Brett Dawson, The Courier-Journal, 8 Oct. 2022 The deluge was part of a spring of flooding across the country that prevented plantings on 20 million acres of insured farmland, according to the American Farm Bureau. The Indianapolis Star, 5 Oct. 2022 Their results revealed a structural weak point, which the researchers called a torsional spring, in the pitcher’s neck: when a raindrop hits the lid, the weak spot buckles and forces the lid to flick downward, similar to a diving board. Darren Incorvaia, Scientific American, 3 Oct. 2022 Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate As Incarnate Word returned to the practice field at 6 a.m. Tuesday on the heels of the season’s first loss, wide receiver Darion Chafin had a smile on his face and a spring in his step. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Sep. 2022
Verb
In the clip, Hilton requests that Faux Tom sing for her, prompting him to spring into action with a pretty decent cover. Emlyn Travis, EW.com, 21 Oct. 2022 This collision caused star formation to spring into motion around the galaxy’s outer ring. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 5 Oct. 2022 The plans spring from mediation involving a group of state attorneys general. Geoff Mulvihill, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Nov. 2022 James Zhan, director of UNCTAD’s investment division, said the decline reflects higher borrowing costs and greater uncertainty that partly spring from the Ukraine invasion. Paul Hannon, WSJ, 24 Oct. 2022 Kartik is the name of the Hindu month that Diwali takes place in, occurring annually in autumn for the northern hemisphere and spring for the southern hemisphere. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 22 Oct. 2022 The Colts got their offensive line playing at a high level last week to keep Matt Ryan clean to throw downfield and also spring Deon Jackson to a Jonathan Taylor-like game without Taylor. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Oct. 2022 Cameron Latu’s crossing route created just enough traffic to spring Brooks on the other side. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 9 Oct. 2022 From winter fashion to spring bag trends, the current landscape is all about standing out. Meg Donohue, ELLE, 23 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

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

First Known Use

Verb (1)

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

Noun

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

Verb (2)

1821, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near spring

Cite this Entry

“Spring.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spring. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

spring 1 of 2

verb

sprang ˈspraŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) or sprung ˈsprəŋ How to pronounce spring (audio) ; sprung; springing ˈspriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce spring (audio)
1
a
: to appear or grow quickly
the weeds sprang up overnight
b
: to come from by birth or descent
sprang from an immigrant family
c
: to come into being : arise
towns sprang up across the plains
2
: to move suddenly forward or upward : leap
a lion crouched and waiting to spring
sprang up the path
sprang to my feet
3
: to have (a leak) appear
4
a
: to move by elastic force
the lid sprang shut
b
: to become warped or bent
the door has sprung
5
a
: to cause to operate suddenly
spring a trap
b
: to produce suddenly
sprung a surprise on us
6
: pay entry 1 sense 1
usually used with for
spring for a new pair of shoes
7
: to release or cause to be released from confinement (as jail)

spring

2 of 2

noun

1
: a source of supply
especially : a source of water coming up from the ground
2
a
: the season between winter and summer including in the northern hemisphere usually the months of March, April, and May
b
: a time or season of growth or development
3
: an elastic body or device that recovers its original shape when released after being squeezed or stretched
4
a
: the act or an instance of leaping up or forward
b
: elastic power or force
the spring in your step

Medical Definition

spring

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on spring

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ