• synonyms


verb (used with or without object), noun
  1. spurt.
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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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to expel or force out suddenly in a stream or jet, as a liquid; spout.
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  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.
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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)


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


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

Examples from the Web for spirts

Historical Examples

  • Water, when it boils, bubbles and spirts; fat is still when it boils.

    Little Folks (October 1884)


  • Page 271--typographical error 'spirts' corrected to 'spirits'

    Old Quebec

    Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan

  • The blood from an artery is of a bright red color, and spirts out, in regular jets, at each beat of the heart.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher

  • On stormy days it spirts out furiously in thin continuous streams.

  • Girls should know that the blood from a cut artery is bright red and flows in spirts and jets.

British Dictionary definitions for spirts


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

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 spirts



"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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper