spark

1
[spahrk]

noun

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to kindle, animate, or stimulate (interest, activity, spirit, etc.): These bright students have sparked her enthusiasm for teaching. The arrival of the piano player really sparked the party.

Origin of spark

1
before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English spearca; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German sparke; (v.) Middle English sparken; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German sparken
Related formsspark·less, adjectivespark·less·ly, adverbspark·like, adjective

Synonyms for spark

spark

2
[spahrk]Informal: Older Use.

noun

an elegant or foppish young man.
a beau, lover, or suitor.
a woman of outstanding beauty, charm, or wit.

verb (used with object)

to woo; court.

verb (used without object)

to engage in courtship; woo.

Origin of spark

2
1565–75; figurative use of spark1, or < Old Norse sparkr quick, lively
Related formsspark·ish, adjectivespark·ish·ly, adverbspark·ish·ness, nounspark·like, adjective

Spark

[spahrk]

noun

Muriel (Sarah) (Camberg),1918–2006, British novelist and writer, born in Scotland.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for spark

Contemporary Examples of spark

Historical Examples of spark

  • Dry and worm-eaten, a spark upon them became a smoulder, and a smoulder a blaze.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • When he heard the drums he flared up like a spark in the tinder.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Every spark of human feeling had evidently been stifled in him.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • The dark eyes of Antoun lit with a spark of surprise and laughter.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • This was his work, the spark he had kindled was being fanned into a steady blaze.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner


British Dictionary definitions for spark

spark

1

noun

a fiery particle thrown out or left by burning material or caused by the friction of two hard surfaces
  1. a momentary flash of light accompanied by a sharp crackling noise, produced by a sudden electrical discharge through the air or some other insulating medium between two points
  2. the electrical discharge itself
  3. (as modifier)a spark gap
anything that serves to animate, kindle, or excite
a trace or hintshe doesn't show a spark of interest
vivacity, enthusiasm, or humour
a small piece of diamond, as used in the cutting of glass

verb

(intr) to give off sparks
(intr) (of the sparking plug or ignition system of an internal-combustion engine) to produce a spark
(tr often foll by off) to kindle, excite, or animate
See also spark off, sparks

Word Origin for spark

Old English spearca; related to Middle Low German sparke, Middle Dutch spranke, Lettish spirgsti cinders, Latin spargere to strew

spark

2

noun rare

a fashionable or gallant young man
bright spark British usually ironic a person who appears clever or wittysome bright spark left the papers next to the open window

verb

rare to woo (a person)
Derived Formssparkish, adjective

Word Origin for spark

C16 (in the sense: beautiful or witty woman): perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse sparkr vivacious

Spark

noun

Dame Muriel (Sarah). 1918–2006, British novelist and writer; her novels include Memento Mori (1959), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Takeover (1976), A Far Cry from Kensington (1988), Symposium (1990), and The Finishing School (2004)
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

Word Origin and History for spark
n.

Old English spearca, from Proto-Germanic *spark- (cf. Middle Low German sparke, Middle Dutch spranke, not found in other Germanic languages). Electrical sense dates from 1748. Slang sense of "a gallant, a beau, a lover" (c.1600) is perhaps a figurative use, but also perhaps from cognate Old Norse sparkr "lively." Spark plug first recorded 1903 (sparking plug is from 1902); figurative sense of "one who initiates or is a driving force in some activity" is from 1941.

v.

c.1300, from spark (n.). Slang meaning "stimulate, to trigger" first attested 1912. Related: Sparked; sparking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with spark

spark

see make the sparks fly.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.