verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to cause to sprout.
to remove sprouts from: Sprout and boil the potatoes.


Origin of sprout

1150–1200; (v.) Middle English spr(o)uten, Old English -sprūtan, in āsproten (past participle; see a-3); cognate with Middle Dutch sprūten, German spriessen to sprout; akin to Greek speírein to scatter; (noun) Middle English; compare Middle Dutch, Middle Low German sprute
Related formsnon·sprout·ing, adjectivere·sprout, verbun·der·sprout, nounun·der·sprout, verb (used without object)un·sprout·ed, adjectiveun·sprout·ing, adjective

Synonyms for sprout

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sprout

Contemporary Examples of sprout

Historical Examples of sprout

British Dictionary definitions for sprout



(of a plant, seed, etc) to produce (new leaves, shoots, etc)
(intr often foll by up) to begin to grow or developnew office blocks are sprouting up all over the city


a newly grown shoot or bud
something that grows like a sprout

Word Origin for sprout

Old English sprūtan; related to Middle High German sprūzen to sprout, Lettish sprausties to jostle
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 sprout

Old English -sprutan (in asprutan "to sprout"), from Proto-Germanic *spreutanan (cf. Old Saxon sprutan, Old Frisian spruta, Middle Dutch spruten, Old High German spriozan, German sprießen "to sprout"), from PIE root *sper- "to strew" (cf. Greek speirein "to scatter," spora "a scattering, sowing," sperma "sperm, seed," literally "that which is scattered;" Old English spreawlian "to sprawl," -sprædan "to spread," spreot "pole;" Armenian sprem "scatter;" Old Lithuanian sprainas "staring;" Lettish spriezu "I span, I measure"). Related: Sprouted; sprouting.


"shoot of a plant, sprout; a twig," Old English sprota (see sprout (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper