to rise, leap, move, or act suddenly and swiftly, as by a sudden dart or thrust forward or outward, or being suddenly released from a coiled or constrained position: to spring into the air; a tiger about to spring.
to be released from a constrained position, as by resilient or elastic force or from the action of a spring: A trap springs. The door sprang open and in he walked.
to issue forth suddenly, as water, blood, sparks, fire, etc. (often followed by forth, out, or up): Blood sprang from the wound.
to come into being, rise, or arise within a short time (usually followed by up): Industries sprang up in the suburbs.
to come into being by growth, as from a seed or germ, bulb, root, etc.; grow, as plants.
to proceed or originate from a specific source or cause.
to have as one's birth or lineage; be descended, as from a person, family, stock, etc.; come from: to spring from ancient aristocracy.
to rise or extend upward, as a spire.
to take an upward course or curve from a point of support, as an arch.
to come or appear suddenly, as if at a bound: An objection sprang to mind.
to start or rise from cover, as a pheasant, woodcock, or the like.
to become bent or warped, as boards.
to shift or work loose, as parts of a mechanism, structure, etc.: The board sprang from the fence during the storm.
to explode, as a mine.
Archaic. to begin to appear, as day, light, etc.; dawn.
to cause to spring.
to cause to fly back, move, or act, as by resiliency, elastic force, a spring, etc.: to spring a lock.
to cause to shift out of place, work loose, warp, split, or crack: Moisture sprang the board from the fence.
to split or crack: The ship sprang its keel on a rock.
to develop by or as by splitting or cracking: The boat sprang a leak.
to bend by force, or force in by bending, as a resilient slat or bar.
to stretch or bend (a spring or other resilient device) beyond its elastic tolerance: This clip has been sprung.
to bring out, disclose, produce, make, etc., suddenly: to spring a joke.
to leap over.
Slang. to secure the release of (someone) from confinement, as of jail, military service, or the like.
Nautical. to move (a vessel) into or out of a berth by pulling on the offshore end of a warp made fast to the pier.
to explode (a mine).
a leap, jump, or bound.
a sudden movement caused by the release of something elastic.
an elastic or bouncing quality: There is a spring in his walk.
elasticity or resilience: This board has spring in it.
a structural defect or injury caused by a warp, crack, etc.
an issue of water from the earth, taking the form, on the surface, of a small stream or standing as a pool or small lake.
the place of such an issue: mineral springs.
a source or fountainhead of something: a spring of inspiration.
an elastic contrivance or body, as a strip or wire of steel coiled spirally, that recovers its shape after being compressed, bent, or stretched.
the season between winter and summer: in the Northern Hemisphere from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice; in the Southern Hemisphere from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice.
(in temperate zones) the season of the year following winter and characterized by the budding of trees, growth of plants, the onset of warmer weather, etc.
the first stage and freshest period: the spring of life.
sometimes initial capital letter. a period of growth, recovery, or regeneration (usually used in combination): signs of an economic spring.
usually initial capital letter.
a period of liberalization or democratization.
a line from the quarter of a vessel to an anchor on the bottom, used to hold the vessel at its mooring, broadside to the current.
Also called springing. Architecture.
the point at which an arch or dome rises from its support.
the rise or the angle of the rise of an arch.
Archaic. the dawn, as of day, light, etc.
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or suitable for the season of spring: spring flowers.
resting on or containing mechanical springs.
spring for, Informal. to pay for; treat someone to.
- springlike, adjective
- outspring, verb (used with object), out·sprang or, often, out·sprung; out·sprung; out·spring·ing.
- re·spring, verb, re·sprang or, often, re·sprung, re·spring·ing.
- un·der·spring, noun
- un·der·spring, verb (used without object), un·der·sprang or un·der·sprung, un·der·sprung, un·der·spring·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use spring in a sentence
Your credentials will follow you across multiple platforms, devices, and browsers—whenever you need to log in, the password manager should spring into life.
New Mexico Health Connections’ decision to close at year’s end will leave just three of the 23 nonprofit health insurance co-ops that sprung from the Affordable Care Act.Only three of 26 Obamacare-era nonprofit health insurance co-ops will soon remain | lbelanger225 | September 6, 2020 | Fortune
Naturally, Airbnb was among the first names to spring to mind.
We had planned a July 7 start, so a lot of the spring was just kind of watching and waiting.
Most of the area’s rainfall occurs in winter and spring, so those oxygen isotopes are indicative of conditions between February and May, rather than summer.Bering Sea winter ice shrank to its lowest level in 5,500 years in 2018 | Carolyn Gramling | September 3, 2020 | Science News
She completed a yoga teacher-training program and, in the spring of 2008, went on a retreat in Peru to study with shamans.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze | Lizzie Crocker | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
This is the Mexico that U.S. college students would be wise to steer clear of on spring break.Why Mexicans Are Enraged by Obama’s Big Tuesday Meeting | Ruben Navarrette Jr. | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is the only tourist center Ukraine has left on the Black Sea, since Russia annexed Crimea last spring.
Having graduated Juilliard last spring, Alex Sharp is too young to have given the performance of a lifetime.Hedwig, Hugh & Michael Cera: 12 Powerhouse Theater Performances of 2014 | Janice Kaplan | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Althea is now re-scheduled with her surgeon for this spring.The Insurance Company Promised a Gender Reassignment. Then They Made a Mistake. | James Joiner | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was a spring day, and the fat buds of the chestnuts were bursting into magnificent green plumes.Children's Ways | James Sully
I do not know what I think; all my thoughts seem whirling round as leaves do in brooks in the time of the spring rains.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
In the spring of 1868 he was taken by his mother for a visit to England, and there, in the same year, his sister was born.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
The cat had been about to spring at Grandfather Mole again when Mr. Crow spoke to her.The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
In the spring of 1877 Mrs. Kipling came to England to see her children, and was followed the next year by her husband.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for spring
to move or cause to move suddenly upwards or forwards in a single motion
to release or be released from a forced position by elastic force: the bolt sprang back
(tr) to leap or jump over
(intr) to come, issue, or arise suddenly
(intr) (of a part of a mechanism, etc) to jump out of place
to make (wood, etc) warped or split or (of wood, etc) to become warped or split
to happen or cause to happen unexpectedly: to spring a surprise; the boat sprung a leak
(intr) to develop or originate: the idea sprang from a chance meeting
(intr usually foll by from) to be descended: he sprang from peasant stock
(intr often foll by up) to come into being or appear suddenly: factories springing up
(tr) (of a gun dog) to rouse (game) from cover
(intr) (of game or quarry) to start or rise suddenly from cover
(intr) to appear to have a strong upward movement: the beam springs away from the pillar
to explode (a mine) or (of a mine) to explode
(tr) to provide with a spring or springs
(tr) informal to arrange the escape of (someone) from prison
(intr) archaic, or poetic (of daylight or dawn) to begin to appear
the act or an instance of springing
a leap, jump, or bound
the quality of resilience; elasticity
(as modifier): spring steel
the act or an instance of moving rapidly back from a position of tension
a natural outflow of ground water, as forming the source of a stream
(as modifier): spring water
a device, such as a coil or strip of steel, that stores potential energy when it is compressed, stretched, or bent and releases it when the restraining force is removed
(as modifier): a spring mattress
a structural defect such as a warp or bend
(sometimes capital) the season of the year between winter and summer, astronomically from the March equinox to the June solstice in the N hemisphere and from the September equinox to the December solstice in the S hemisphere
(as modifier): spring showers Related adjective: vernal
the earliest or freshest time of something
a source or origin
one of a set of strips of rubber, steel, etc, running down the inside of the handle of a cricket bat, hockey stick, etc
Also called: spring line nautical a mooring line, usually one of a pair that cross amidships
a flock of teal
architect another name for springing
- springless, adjective
- springlike, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for spring
A device, such as a coil of wire, that returns to its original shape after being compressed or stretched. Because of their ability to return to their original shape, springs are used to store energy, as in mechanical clocks, and to absorb or lessen energy, as in the suspension system of vehicles.
A small stream of water flowing naturally from the Earth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.