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spring Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the season of growth
    • the emerging buds were a sure sign of spring
    • he will hold office until the spring of next year
  2. noun a metal elastic device that returns to its shape or position when pushed or pulled or pressed
    • the spring was broken
  3. noun a natural flow of ground water
    outpouring; natural spring; outflow; fountain.
  4. noun a point at which water issues forth
  5. noun the elasticity of something that can be stretched and returns to its original length
    springiness; give.
  6. noun a light, self-propelled movement upwards or forwards
    leaping; bounce; bound; leap; saltation.
  7. verb move forward by leaps and bounds
    jump; leap; bound.
    • The horse bounded across the meadow
    • The child leapt across the puddle
    • Can you jump over the fence?
  8. verb develop into a distinctive entity
    take shape; form; take form.
    • our plans began to take shape
  9. verb spring back; spring away from an impact
    rebound; bound; bounce; take a hop; reverberate; recoil; resile; ricochet.
    • The rubber ball bounced
    • These particles do not resile but they unite after they collide
  10. verb develop suddenly
    • The tire sprang a leak
  11. verb produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly
    • He sprang these news on me just as I was leaving

Spring intransitive verb
AS. springan; akin to D. & G. springen, OS. & OHG. springan, Icel. & Sw. springa, Dan. springe; cf. Gr. to hasten. Cf. Springe, Sprinkle.
imperfect Sprang or Sprung ; past participle Sprung; present participle & verbal noun Springing
  1. To leap; to bound; to jump.
    The mountain stag that springs From height to height, and bounds along the plains. Philips.
  2. To issue with speed and violence; to move with activity; to dart; to shoot.
    And sudden light Sprung through the vaulted roof. Dryden.
  3. To start or rise suddenly, as from a covert.
    Watchful as fowlers when their game will spring. Otway.
  4. To fly back; as, a bow, when bent, springs back by its elastic power.
  5. To bend from a straight direction or plane surface; to become warped; as, a piece of timber, or a plank, sometimes springs in seasoning.
  6. To shoot up, out, or forth; to come to the light; to begin to appear; to emerge; as a plant from its seed, as streams from their source, and the like; -often followed by up, forth, or out.
    Till well nigh the day began to spring. Chaucer.
    To satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth. Job xxxviii. 27.
    Do not blast my springing hopes. Rowe.
    O, spring to light; auspicious Babe, be born. Pope.
  7. To issue or proceed, as from a parent or ancestor; to result, as from a cause, motive, reason, or principle.
    [They found] new hope to spring Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet linked. Milton.
  8. To grow; to prosper.
    What makes all this, but Jupiter the king, At whose command we perish, and we spring? Dryden.
Spring transitive verb
  1. To cause to spring up; to start or rouse, as game; to cause to rise from the earth, or from a covert; as, to spring a pheasant.
  2. To produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly. to spring a surprise on s.o.
    She starts, and leaves her bed, amd springs a light. Dryden.
    The friends to the cause sprang a new project. Swift.
  3. To cause to explode; as, to spring a mine.
  4. To crack or split; to bend or strain so as to weaken; as, to spring a mast or a yard.
  5. To cause to close suddenly, as the parts of a trap operated by a spring; as, to spring a trap.
  6. To bend by force, as something stiff or strong; to force or put by bending, as a beam into its sockets, and allowing it to straighten when in place; -- often with in, out, etc.; as, to spring in a slat or a bar.
  7. To pass over by leaping; as, to spring a fence.
Spring noun
AS. spring a fountain, a leap. See Spring, v. i.
  1. A leap; a bound; a jump.
    The prisoner, with a spring, from prison broke. Dryden.
  2. A flying back; the resilience of a body recovering its former state by elasticity; as, the spring of a bow.
  3. Elastic power or force.
    Heavens! what a spring was in his arm! Dryden.
  4. An elastic body of any kind, as steel, India rubber, tough wood, or compressed air, used for various mechanical purposes, as receiving and imparting power, diminishing concussion, regulating motion, measuring weight or other force. ✍ The principal varieties of springs used in mechanisms are the spiral spring (Fig. a), the coil spring (Fig. b), the elliptic spring (Fig. c), the half-elliptic spring (Fig. d), the volute spring, the India-rubber spring, the atmospheric spring, etc.
  5. Any source of supply; especially, the source from which a stream proceeds; as issue of water from the earth; a natural fountain. "All my springs are in thee." Ps. lxxxvii. 7. "A secret spring of spiritual joy." Bentley. "The sacred spring whence and honor streams." Sir J. Davies.
  6. Any active power; that by which action, or motion, is produced or propagated; cause; origin; motive.
    Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move The hero's glory, or the virgin's love. Pope.
  7. That which springs, or is originated, from a source; as: (a) A race; lineage. Obs. Chapman. (b) A youth; a springal. Obs. Spenser. (c) A shoot; a plant; a young tree; also, a grove of trees; woodland. Obs. Spenser. Milton.
  8. That which causes one to spring; specifically, a lively tune. Obs. Beau. & Fl.
  9. The season of the year when plants begin to vegetate and grow; the vernal season, usually comprehending the months of March, April, and May, in the middle latitudes north of the equator. "The green lap of the new-come spring." Shak. Spring of the astronomical year begins with the vernal equinox, about March 21st, and ends with the summer solstice, about June 21st.
  10. The time of growth and progress; early portion; first stage. "The spring of the day." 1 Sam. ix. 26.
    O how this spring of love resembleth The uncertain glory of an April day. Shak.
  11. (Naut.) (a) A crack or fissure in a mast or yard, running obliquely or transversely. (b) A line led from a vessel's quarter to her cable so that by tightening or slacking it she can be made to lie in any desired position; a line led diagonally from the bow or stern of a vessel to some point upon the wharf to which she is moored.

Webster 1913