Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[sprint] /sprɪnt/
verb (used without object)
to race or move at full speed, especially for a short distance, as in running, rowing, etc.
verb (used with object)
to traverse in sprinting:
to sprint a half mile.
a short race at full speed.
a burst of speed at any point during a long race, as near the finish line.
a brief spell of great activity.
Origin of sprint
1560-70; perhaps continuing Old English *sprintan (compare gesprintan to emit); cognate with Old Norse spretta, Old High German sprinzan to jump up
Related forms
sprinter, noun
outsprint, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sprint
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One night on the Alameda oyster-beds, I got ashore and headed back from the bay as fast as I could sprint.

  • It is like unhandcuffing a prisoner and saying: “sprint a bit, I can catch up to you.”

    The Gorgeous Girl Nalbro Bartley
  • Well, Andy, arent some of your cylinders hot after that sprint?

  • He broke into a sprint, trying to stay away from the fatal touch.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • I had to get dressed and sprint two miles to catch the train.

    My Man Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse
British Dictionary definitions for sprint


(athletics) a short race run at top speed, such as the 100 metres
a fast finishing speed at the end of a longer race, as in running or cycling, etc
any quick run
verb (intransitive)
to go at top speed, as in running, cycling, etc
Derived Forms
sprinter, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Scandinavian; related to Old English gesprintan to emit, Old Norse spretta to jump up, Old High German sprinzan to jump up, Swedish sprata to kick
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sprint

1560s, "to spring, dart," from Old Norse spretta "to jump up." Meaning "to run a short distance at full speed" first recorded 1871. Related: Sprinted; sprinting.


1865, from sprint (v.).


1865, from sprint (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sprint

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sprint

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sprint