or spirt

verb (used without object)
  1. to gush or issue suddenly in a stream or jet, as a liquid; spout.
  2. to show marked, usually increased, activity or energy for a short period: The runners spurted forward in the last lap of the race.
verb (used with object)
  1. to expel or force out suddenly in a stream or jet, as a liquid; spout.
  1. a sudden, forceful gush or jet.
  2. a marked increase of effort for a short period or distance, as in running, rowing, etc.
  3. a sudden burst or outburst, as of activity, energy, or feeling.

Origin of spurt

First recorded in 1560–70; variant of spirt; origin uncertain
Related formsspurt·er, nounspur·tive, adjectivespur·tive·ly, adverbout·spurt, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for spurt

1. well, spring. See flow. 4. spout.

Antonyms for spurt

1. drip, ooze.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spirt

Contemporary Examples of spirt

Historical Examples of spirt

  • First touch of the lancet, and first spirt of blood, and what do you think?

  • The spirt of flame then fell back and spread slowly until it formed a spire as large as a pine-cone.

  • The word means to 'cause to spring or leap;' when applied to fluids, to spirt or sprinkle them.

    The Expositor's Bible

    George Adam Smith

  • As far as I was concerned, there was nothing but the spirt of dust from the side of a long-suffering island.

    Wounds in the rain

    Stephen Crane

  • There was a spirt or two of rain during the night, but not enough to find out the leaks in our roof.

British Dictionary definitions for spirt


  1. a variant spelling of spurt



  1. to gush or cause to gush forth in a sudden stream or jet
  2. to make a sudden effort
  1. a sudden forceful stream or jet
  2. a short burst of activity, speed, or energy

Word Origin for spurt

C16: perhaps related to Middle High German sprützen to squirt
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 spirt



"to gush out, squirt," 1560s, variant of spirt, perhaps cognate with Middle High German spürzen "to spit," and sprützen "to squirt" (see sprout). The noun in this sense is attested from 1775.



"brief burst of activity," 1560s, variant of spirt "brief period of time" (1540s), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow connected with spurt (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper