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[spree] /spri/
a lively frolic or outing.
a bout or spell of drinking to intoxication; binge; carousal.
a period, spell, or bout of indulgence, as of a particular wish, craving, or whim:
an eating spree; a spending spree.
a period or outburst of extreme activity: the team’s scoring spree;
no motive for his killing spree.
Origin of spree
First recorded in 1795-1805; origin uncertain


[shprey] /ʃpreɪ/
a river in E Germany, flowing N through Berlin to the Havel River. 220 miles (354 km) long. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sprees
Historical Examples
  • Up to this period the duration of my sprees was not longer than a day and night.

    Fifteen Years in Hell Luther Benson
  • Are you in the habit of going on sprees with that colored man?

  • It was not a grand spree, for all sprees at Tough Case were grand, and they took place every Sunday.

  • But nowadays certain "sprees," as he called them, left him fairly exhausted.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • He would get on his sprees two or three times a year, but always at home.

    Sons and Fathers Harry Stillwell Edwards
  • These semi-annual sprees had been among the girl's earliest recollections.

    Prairie Flowers James B. Hendryx
  • Let us see you when term ends; and in the interim expect a long account of sprees and sports in the village.

    The English Spy Bernard Blackmantle
  • You'd been off on sprees a half dozen other times, if I hadn't kept an eye on you.

    Klondike Nuggets E. S. Ellis
  • These early morning sprees were the ones that made most money, though they caused her most uneasiness on the whole.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • Then they slept off their sprees and were ready to work Monday morning.

British Dictionary definitions for sprees


a session of considerable overindulgence, esp in drinking, squandering money, etc
a romp
Word Origin
C19: perhaps changed from Scottish spreath plundered cattle, ultimately from Latin praeda booty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sprees



frolic, drinking bout," 1804, slang, perhaps an alteration of French esprit "lively wit" (see esprit). Irish spre seems to be a loan-word from Old Norse sprakr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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