\ 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

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

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Examples of sprout in a Sentence


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.


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

Directed by Rich Lee and shot in Los Angeles, the video features Billie falling to earth and sprouting black wings after being injected by some mysterious compound. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Billie Eilish's Terrifying Video for "all the good girls go to hell" Has Fans Freaking Out," 4 Sep. 2019 Pennywise, who sometimes takes the form of a giant spider-like monster, and whose pouty moue can suddenly sprout rows of sharp, brownish fangs, both feeds and feeds upon ordinary human viciousness. New York Times, "‘It Chapter Two’ Review: Send in the Clown, Again," 3 Sep. 2019 Many bulbs, such as daffodil and tulip bulbs, have a flattish end where the roots grow and a more pointed end where the stem and flower will sprout. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "It’s September, which means it’s time to think about spring -- spring bulbs, that is," 1 Sep. 2019 This beautiful segment features slopes with sprouting aspen saplings as well as ravines cluttered with old-growth conifers draped in moss. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This Flagstaff mountain hike surrounds you with summer wildflowers," 18 July 2019 The Monitor is proud to share the seeds of constructive, hopeful journalism sprouting everywhere. The Christian Science Monitor, "Global Voices - 2018," 7 June 2019 The rest of the staff spread out, with branches of the tree sprouting in Cleveland, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Green Bay, Cincinnati and Denver. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "The Forgettable Years of a Coaching Staff to Remember," 23 Aug. 2019 When the first sign of seeds sprouting is noticed move the containers into full sun, preferably outdoors. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Good care leads to bountiful banana harvest," 17 Aug. 2019 But the college said a new corpse flower sprouted Tuesday. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "It’s alive! Orange Coast College ‘corpse flower’ blooms — and stinks — to life," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unfortunately, the sprouts were tough and undercooked, and the sweetish sauce seasoning the pork seemed to stick out instead of blending in. Coco Mccabe, BostonGlobe.com, "Dal Mare in Beverly Farms offers a classic night out," 7 Aug. 2019 And, of course, potato sprouts are an entirely different story. Washington Post, "Sprouting onions and scarred tomatoes: How to tell whether fading produce is still safe to eat," 25 July 2019 But sprouts of success also are visible in Cleveland, according to a panel of experts that advised The Plain Dealer as part of its special report, Pathways to Prosperity. Olivera Perkins, cleveland.com, "6 lessons for Cleveland from European school-to-work models: Pathways to Prosperity," 9 June 2019 Restaurateur Stephen Starr assists with the nutrition component, serving Mid-Atlantic cuisine at the Electric Lemon restaurant, while the minibar is stocked with organic gummy bears, crispy almond Brussels sprouts, and other snacks. Fortune, "Inside the ‘Ultimate High-Performance Luxury Lifestyle’ Experience at the New Equinox Hotel," 20 July 2019 From this muck the rest of the ecosystem sprouts, though trees typically don’t grow very tall because of the peat’s low oxygen content. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Bizarre, Peaty Science of Arctic Wildfires," 29 July 2019 Use the same product mixed at spraying strength and apply it to the new growth of any sprouts that come up in your lawn. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "Getting rid of trumpet vine may require bribery," 19 July 2019 The rule is not so much that every single bite be detached in a separate operation, but rather that the result not be Lego-like mounds of hot dog, Brussels sprouts and polenta. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: A memorable way to keep neighbors’ guests from blocking the driveway," 19 June 2019 The rule is not so much that every single bite be detached in a separate operation, but rather that the result not be Lego-like mounds of hot dog, Brussels sprouts and polenta. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Neighbors’ guests keep blocking the driveway," 19 June 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


13th 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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Statistics for sprout

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sprout

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

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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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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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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