\ ˈsprau̇t How to pronounce sprout (audio) \
sprouted; sprouting; sprouts

Definition of sprout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to grow, spring up, or come forth as or as if a sprout
2 : to send out new growth

transitive verb

: to send forth or up : cause to develop : grow



Definition of sprout (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : shoot sense 1a especially : a young shoot (as from a seed or root)
b sprouts plural
(1) chiefly British : brussels sprout sense 2
(2) : edible sprouts especially from recently germinated seeds (as of alfalfa or mung beans)
2 : something resembling a sprout: such as
a : a young person

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Synonyms & Antonyms for sprout

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of sprout in a Sentence

Verb seeds sprouting in the spring Potatoes will sprout in the bag if kept in a warm place. The garden is sprouting weeds. The tree is already sprouting leaves. He sprouted a beard since the last time I saw him. She dreamed that her boss had sprouted horns. Hair sprouted on his face. Noun he earned the admiration of the neighborhood sprouts when he showed them how to make a slingshot the raspberry bushes began sending out sprouts in early spring
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These asters, constructed of hollow rods called microtubules, sprout from a structure known as the centrosome, which organizes the microtubules. Quanta Magazine, "Unscrambled Eggs: Self-Organization Restores Cells’ Order," 2 Jan. 2020 When the railroad was built in southern Phoenix, factories sprouted near the tracks and people of color lived nearby for work, as they were barred from other economic opportunity because of racist policies. Erin Stone, azcentral, "Winter air really is worse in south, west Phoenix. Here's why," 31 Dec. 2019 That geyser sprouted on Dec. 20 when a mysterious bright-green gusher of polluted groundwater began spurting from a freeway wall on I-696 during the afternoon rush hour. prompting an emergency cleanup that is continuing. Steve Pepple, Detroit Free Press, "Candice Miller blasts state, federal agencies on green ooze cleanup," 29 Dec. 2019 GoFundMe campaigns always sprout up after natural disasters and mass shootings. CBS News, "How the crowdsourcing website GoFundMe is changing charity," 22 Dec. 2019 When the seeds sprout, lower the temperature to 60 to 70 degrees. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Garden-Fresh Asparagus," 19 Aug. 2018 Those seeds would sprout into witches’ broom as well. New York Times, "Every Cell in Your Body Has the Same DNA. Except It Doesn’t.," 21 May 2018 The seeds would sprout and the figures would be dried in the sun, wrapped in linen and placed on the waterway in votive barques guided to Canopus. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds’ Review: Treasures Beneath the Waves," 27 Mar. 2018 As climate change shifts the timing of germination for many botanical species, his team's work suggests that modifying the genes involved in sensing the seasons could change when seeds sprout regardless of the weather outside. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, "Mother Plants Tell Their Seeds When to Sprout," 1 May 2015 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And like other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, napa cabbage contains compounds that may help reduce cancer risk. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Think spring with crisp and crunchy napa cabbage salad," 10 Jan. 2020 For the salad: Place the lettuce in a large bowl and add the lentil sprouts and the vinaigrette. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Erling Wu-Bower shares his signature recipes," 27 July 2019 Other dishes from the event included Brussels sprouts and stuffed turkey with gravy. Mary Honkus, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Garner and Ina Garten Reunite to Cook a Thanksgiving Meal for a Good Cause," 15 Nov. 2019 Pour heavy cream over Brussels sprouts and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Keto Brussels Sprout Casserole," 14 Nov. 2019 Recent highlights included seared snapper with grits, Brussels sprouts, and balsamic brown butter, as well as seared black grouper with tomato gravy and seasonal veggies, served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Carla Jean Whitley, al, "This new eatery brings Caribbean food and flair to Avondale," 11 Nov. 2019 Their day-long menu can begin with avocado toast or a chia granola parfait and then segue to gourmet salads such as their own take on a Waldorf: kale with cashew cream, faro, carrots, walnuts, oranges, avocado, cranberries, sprouts and seeds. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "First look: Politan Row dining hall in Rice Village," 7 Nov. 2019 Potatoes and Brussels sprouts: Still no hard frost? Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "The autumn leaves drift past your window. Now leave them alone.," 3 Oct. 2019 Towering tomato plants shade more tender sprouts of carrots and beets as well as flowers both edible and for restaurant bouquets. Los Angeles Times, "An urban farm grows in Los Angeles. You can be a part of it.," 10 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sprout.' 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 sprout


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sprout


Middle English spruten, from Old English -sprūtan; akin to Old High German spriozan to sprout, Lithuanian sprausti to squeeze, thrust

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Time Traveler for sprout

Time Traveler

The first known use of sprout was in the 13th century

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Statistics for sprout

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sprout.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sprout. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sprout


How to pronounce sprout (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sprout

: to produce new leaves, buds, etc.
: to grow or develop (something)
: to appear suddenly and in large numbers


\ ˈsprau̇t How to pronounce sprout (audio) \
sprouted; sprouting

Kids Definition of sprout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to produce or cause to produce new growth The seeds of corn were sprouting.



Kids Definition of sprout (Entry 2 of 2)

: a young stem of a plant especially when coming directly from a seed or root
\ ˈsprau̇t How to pronounce sprout (audio) \

Medical Definition of sprout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to send out new growth : produce sprouts vascular endothelial growth factor…has been shown to spur blood vessels to sprout— Greg Miller



Medical Definition of sprout (Entry 2 of 2)

: a new outgrowth (as of nerve tissue) resembling the young shoot of a plant segments of the axon above the injury…produce new sprouts— J. L. Marx

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More from Merriam-Webster on sprout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sprout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sprout

Spanish Central: Translation of sprout

Nglish: Translation of sprout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sprout for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sprout

What made you want to look up sprout? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to help to grow, develop, or succeed

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