sprout

verb
\ ˈsprau̇t \
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

sprout

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for sprout

Synonyms: Noun

bairn [chiefly Scottish], bambino, bud, chap [Southern & Midland], chick, child, cub, juvenile, kid, kiddie (also kiddy), kiddo, moppet, sprat, squirt, whelp, youngling, youngster, youth

Antonyms: Noun

adult, grown-up

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Perennial grasses and wildflowers sprouted the first year after the fires and flowered profusely the second year. Kristen Pope, Discover Magazine, "Wildfire Engulfed Yellowstone 30 Years Ago. Its Recovery Could Predict The Future of the West," 12 Nov. 2018 In spring, clusters of light pink flowers, each with four narrow petals, sprout from branch tips. Earl Nickel, SFChronicle.com, "Let this ‘Purple Pixie’ bring a little color to the garden," 29 June 2018 In a strange kitchen, nails sprout from a piece of bread and little skulls burst out of eggs and dash away. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Foreign / On Video Five masters of stop-motion animation," 12 June 2018 Down the block, a cluster of high-rise rental buildings sprouts from the vale of parking lots and one-story warehouses. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "Downtown Nashville Is Supposed to Be the Model of the Walkable 21st-Century City. I’m Not So Sure.," 8 June 2018 The longtime midtown Phoenix home of Arizona's first Mercedes dealership has sprouted new apartments. Catherine Reagor, azcentral, "Central Phoenix Mercedes dealership property turned into new apartments," 8 June 2018 What's more, new plants readily sprout from stem fragments, so removal efforts like raking or pulling may contribute to their spread. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Watch out for parrot feathers on Michigan waterways," 8 May 2018 In Egypt, as Mr. MacGregor shows, priests fashioned earthen figurines of the agriculture god Osiris, implanting them with seeds and burying them after each harvest to sprout new corn. Andrew Stark, WSJ, "‘Living With the Gods’ Review: The Gang’s All Here," 16 Nov. 2018 Von Hep shared a photo to Instagram of a suspiciously tan foot sprouting out from a very, well, not tanned ankle. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Woman's Foot Self-Tanner Fail Is Going Viral on Instagram," 16 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Besides the traditional salads, stuffings, and soups, chestnuts pair well with pretty much all of your favorite fall and winter flavors, including apples, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turkey, pork, sage, thyme, and mushroom. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "4 Surprising Health Benefits of Chestnuts," 13 Dec. 2018 Top with ½ cup alfalfa sprouts, halved hard boiled egg and ½ avocado, quartered lengthwise. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "How to Win the Weekday Lunch Game," 30 Aug. 2018 In February, the restaurant served it with braised Brussels sprouts. Jeanmarie Brownson, charlotteobserver, "Warm cheese meets fresh herbs in a happy springtime marriage," 19 June 2018 Toss the onion in a bowl with the blanched Brussels sprouts; set aside. Carole Kotkin, miamiherald, "Italian gremolata is great with sandwiches, meats, fish vegetables | Miami Herald," 2 Mar. 2018 The star’s relationship with Brussels sprouts is far from over though. Collier Sutter, PEOPLE.com, "Kumail Nanjiani Had to Eat a Bowl of His Least Favorite Vegetable After Losing an Oscars Bet to Edgar Wright," 26 Jan. 2018 In nature, there is no distinction between verdant sprouts and decaying leaves: The entire life cycle exists on one axis. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's October 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 Sep. 2018 Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, tossing or stirring, for about two minutes. House Beautiful, "Laura Pensiero's Roasted Maple Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Chestnuts," 30 Sep. 2012 Remove sprouts from oven, add cheese and 1 teaspoon vinegar and toss. Anna Thomas Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One last, cheesy-good encore for brussels sprouts," 21 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of sprout

Verb

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

Noun

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

History and Etymology for sprout

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sprout

Statistics for sprout

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sprout

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sprout

sprout

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sprout

: to produce new leaves, buds, etc.

: to grow or develop (something)

: to appear suddenly and in large numbers

sprout

verb
\ ˈsprau̇t \
sprouted; sprouting

Kids Definition of sprout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

sprout

noun

Kids Definition of sprout (Entry 2 of 2)

: a young stem of a plant especially when coming directly from a seed or root
\ ˈsprau̇t \

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

sprout

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sprout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sprout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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