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




a river in E Germany, flowing N through Berlin to the Havel River. 220 miles (354 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sprees

Historical Examples of sprees

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


    Emile Zola

  • These semi-annual sprees had been among the girl's earliest recollections.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

  • Are you in the habit of going on sprees with that colored man?

  • Is Ronald Mason in the habit of going on sprees with his uncle's negro valet?

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for sprees



a session of considerable overindulgence, esp in drinking, squandering money, etc
a romp

Word Origin for spree

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

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