\ 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 Reasonable policies cannot sprout from unreasonable levels of risk tolerance. Joseph A. Ladapo, WSJ, "An American Epidemic of ‘Covid Mania’," 19 Apr. 2021 Instead, the trail follows the island’s gentle contours around rocky outcroppings that seem to sprout up everywhere, often under a canopy of trees. Washington Post, "Hiking along Virginia’s Aquia Creek and finding history a stone’s throw from home," 2 Apr. 2021 The Lakers opened the month on a winning streak that stretched to seven games, but in the winning, the seeds of the adversity that would soon bloom began to sprout. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "LeBron James and Lakers end a month of tests and adversity with dominant win," 28 Feb. 2021 When Robinson showed me a diagram of the dispersal of coins, I was reminded of an airline-magazine route map in which several lines sprout from one dot and then converge on another. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, "The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s Hacking Army," 19 Apr. 2021 The picture is still not clear, there are reports that some ssperanza and pride of Barbados have begun to sprout. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Is it time to pull the plug and replace freeze-damaged sago palms and citrus trees?," 9 Apr. 2021 All around them, signboards seemed to sprout like weeds, advertising projects by international organizations to dig boreholes and build schools. John Okot, The Christian Science Monitor, "How Ojok Okello is rebuilding the hometown he never knew," 19 Feb. 2021 The grain of wheat must fall to the ground for seeds to sprout up from the soil. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Farewell to Prince Philip," 9 Apr. 2021 But vaccines are less likely to block the mildest forms of disease, muddying the forecast for long-COVID cases that sprout from more silent infection. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "Long-Haulers Are Pushing the Limits of COVID-19 Vaccines," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once solidly conservative places such as Texas have seen increasingly large islands of liberalism sprout in their cities, driven by the migration of younger adults, who lean Democratic. Nicholas Riccardi, Anchorage Daily News, "Census shows young adults are moving south and west, reshaping America’s political geography," 27 Apr. 2021 Once solidly conservative places such as Texas have seen increasingly large islands of liberalism sprout in their cities, driven by the migration of younger adults, who lean Democratic. Nicholas Riccardi And Mike Schneider, The Christian Science Monitor, "Millennials are relocating, shifting US politics as they go," 26 Apr. 2021 Once solidly conservative places such as Texas have seen increasingly large islands of liberalism sprout in their cities, driven by the migration of younger adults, who lean Democratic. Star Tribune, "Young adults' relocations are reshaping political geography," 25 Apr. 2021 With neither a Peloponnese mountain nor a fresh green sprout in sight, this version uses a combination of Swiss chard with fresh mint, parsley, and dill. BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Hortopita, a Greek pie of greens and feta in phyllo dough, is a country cousin to familiar spanakopita," 20 Apr. 2021 Under the guise of her training, a friendship and intimacy sprout. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: An elite skier is sexually abused by her coach in the French drama ‘Slalom’," 8 Apr. 2021 This species and some of its closest relatives sprout into dense aquatic forests along coasts. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "Female Botanist Published the First Ever Photo Book," 29 Mar. 2021 Sabzeh, the sprout salad ($8) on the prix fixe menu, is a classic Nowruz dish that sums up the whole enterprise. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "A San Francisco Iranian food pop-up honors the Persian New Year, with a dollop of spring promise on top," 22 Mar. 2021 Some sprout from roots that stay alive through the winter. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Spring is here, and weeds are already sprouting. Here’s how to get a head start on weeding to lessen the spread.," 28 Mar. 2021

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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sprout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sprout. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for sprout



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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