• synonyms


  1. a small spray of some plant with its leaves, flowers, etc.
  2. an ornament having the form of such a spray.
  3. a shoot, twig, or small branch.
  4. Facetious. a scion, offspring, or heir of a family, class, etc.
  5. a youth or young fellow.
  6. glazier's point.
  7. a headless brad.
  8. Metallurgy.
    1. a small peg for reinforcing the walls of a mold.
    2. a metal insert, used to chill certain portions of cast metal, that becomes an integral part of the finished casting.
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verb (used with object), sprigged, sprig·ging.
  1. to mark or decorate (fabrics, pottery, etc.) with a design of sprigs.
  2. to fasten with brads.
  3. Horticulture. to propagate a plant, especially grass, by planting individual stolons.
  4. Metallurgy. to reinforce the walls of (a mold) with sprigs.
  5. to remove a sprig or sprigs from (a plant).
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Origin of sprig

1300–50; Middle English sprigge (noun); origin uncertain; sense “peg” perhaps of distinct orig.; cf. sprag1, spray2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sprigged

Historical Examples

  • And one is sprigged with lavender, and that's the one for me.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, April 5, 1916


  • Forget its stripes, and imagine it to be sprigged silk of a day long gone by.

  • The veil of Brussels net wrought in sprigged designs is a failure.

    Social Life

    Maud C. Cooke

  • She shook out the sprigged muslin and gave it to the old man to press.

    The Comings of Cousin Ann

    Emma Speed Sampson

  • You know I wanted you, when we first came, not to buy that sprigged muslin, but you would.

    Northanger Abbey

    Jane Austen

British Dictionary definitions for sprigged


  1. a shoot, twig, or sprout of a tree, shrub, etc; spray
  2. an ornamental device resembling a spray of leaves or flowers
  3. a small wire nail without a head
  4. informal, rare a youth
  5. informal, rare a person considered as the descendant of an established family, social class, etc
  6. NZ another name for stud 1 (def. 7)
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verb sprigs, sprigging or sprigged (tr)
  1. to fasten or secure with sprigs
  2. to ornament (fabric, wallpaper, etc) with a design of sprigs
  3. to make sprays from (twigs and branches)
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Derived Formssprigger, nounspriggy, adjective

Word Origin

C15: probably of Germanic origin; compare Low German sprick, Swedish sprygg
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 sprigged



c.1400, "shoot, twig or spray of a plant, shrub," probably from Old English spræc "shoot, twig," of obscure origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper