From Middle Dutch sprāien, sprayen, spraeyen (“to spray, sprinkle, spread”), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *sprēwijaną (“to spray, sprinkle”), from Proto-Indo-European *sper- (“to sow, scatter”). Cognate with Middle High German spræjen, spræwen (“to squirt, spray, dust, splash, straw”), Danish dialectal språe (“to open up, burst forth”), Swedish dialectal språ (“to sprout, shoot forth, burst”), Norwegian dialectal spra, spræ (“to splash, splatter, spout, burst forth”), Dutch sproeien (“to spray, sprinkle”), German sprühen (“to spray, sparkle”).
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spray (plural sprays)
- A fine, gentle, dispersed mist of liquid.
- The sailor could feel the spray from the waves.
- A small branch of flowers or berries.
- The bridesmaid carried a spray of lily-of-the-valley.
- The painted birds, companions of the spring, / Hopping from spray to spray, were heard to sing.
- A collective body of small branches.
- The tree has a beautiful spray.
- And from the trees did lop the needless spray.
- A pressurized container; an atomizer.
- Any of numerous commercial products, including paints, cosmetics, and insecticides, that are dispensed from containers in this manner.
- (medicine) A jet of fine medicated vapour, used either as an application to a diseased part or to charge the air of a room with a disinfectant or a deodorizer.
- (metalworking) A side channel or branch of the runner of a flask, made to distribute the metal to all parts of the mold.
- (metalworking) A group of castings made in the same mold and connected by sprues formed in the runner and its branches.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
- To project a liquid in a dispersive manner.
- The firemen sprayed the house.
- Using a water cannon, the national guard sprayed the protesters.
- Spray some ointment on that scratch.
- (figuratively) To project many small items dispersively.
2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
- Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.
- spray (device for spraying)
- Many of the inflected forms, especially the plurals, are somewhat awkward. Therefore, it may be advisable to use appropriate synonyms for these cases, such as spraypullo, spraytölkki, suihke, suihkepullo.