spring

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See also: Spring and Șpring

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English springen, from Old English springan, from Proto-Germanic *springaną (compare West Frisian springe, Dutch/Low German/German springen, Danish springe, Swedish springa), from Proto-Indo-European *sperǵʰ- (compare Lithuanian spreñgti (to push in), Old Church Slavonic прѧсти (pręsti, to spin, stretch), Ancient Greek σπέρχω (spérkhō, I hasten), Sanskrit स्पृहयति (spṛhayati, is eager)).

Sense of ‘season’ 1547, from earlier springing time, spring-time, in sense of buds sprouting or “springing” up. This replaced Old English lencten (compare Lent) by the 14th century.[1]

Sense of ‘source of water’ attested circa 1225.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

spring (third-person singular simple present springs, present participle springing, simple past sprang or sprung, past participle sprung)

  1. To jump or leap.
    • Philips
      The mountain stag that springs / From height to height, and bounds along the plains.
    • 1900, L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
      She was awakened by a shock, so sudden and severe that if Dorothy had not been lying on the soft bed she might have been hurt. As it was, the jar made her catch her breath and wonder what had happened; and Toto put his cold little nose into her face and whined dismally. Dorothy sat up and noticed that the house was not moving; nor was it dark, for the bright sunshine came in at the window, flooding the little room. She sprang from her bed and with Toto at her heels ran and opened the door.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 5
      Not thirty paces behind the two she crouched—Sabor, the huge lioness—lashing her tail. Cautiously she moved a great padded paw forward, noiselessly placing it before she lifted the next. Thus she advanced; her belly low, almost touching the surface of the ground — a great cat preparing to spring upon its prey.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Chapter 2
      Archer and Jacob jumped up from behind the mound where they had been crouching with the intention of springing upon their mother unexpectedly, and they all began to walk slowly home.
    He sprang up from his seat.
  2. To pass over by leaping.
    to spring over a fence (in this sense, the verb spring must be accompanied by the preposition 'over'.)
  3. To produce or disclose unexpectedly, especially of surprises, traps, etc.
    • Dryden
      She starts, and leaves her bed, amd springs a light.
    • Jonathan Swift
      The friends to the cause sprang a new project.
    • 29 February 2012, Aidan Foster-Carter, BBC News North Korea: The denuclearisation dance resumes
      North Korea loves to spring surprises. More unusual is for its US foe to play along.
  4. (slang) To release or set free, especially from prison.
  5. To come into being, often quickly or sharply.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, The Celebrity:
      However, with the dainty volume my quondam friend sprang into fame. At the same time he cast off the chrysalis of a commonplace existence.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, The China Governess[1]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring. It was blunt and grey, the nose springing thick and flat from high on the frontal bone of the forehead, whilst his eyes were narrow slits of dark in a tight bandage of tissue.  [] .
    Trees are already springing up in the plantation.
  6. To start or rise suddenly, as from a covert.
    • Otway
      watchful as fowlers when their game will spring
  7. To cause to spring up; to start or rouse, as game; to cause to rise from the earth, or from a covert.
    to spring a pheasant
  8. (nautical) To crack or split; to bend or strain so as to weaken.
    to spring a mast or a yard
  9. To bend by force, as something stiff or strong; to force or put by bending, as a beam into its sockets, and allowing it to straighten when in place; often with in, out, etc.
    to spring in a slat or a bar
  10. To issue with speed and violence; to move with activity; to dart; to shoot.
    • Dryden
      And sudden light / Sprung through the vaulted roof.
  11. To fly back.
    A bow, when bent, springs back by its elastic power.
  12. (intransitive) To bend from a straight direction or plane surface; to become warped.
    A piece of timber, or a plank, sometimes springs in seasoning.
  13. To shoot up, out, or forth; to come to the light; to begin to appear; to emerge, like a plant from its seed, a stream from its source, etc.; often followed by up, forth, or out.
    • Bible, Job xxxviii. 27
      to satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth
    • Rowe
      Do not blast my springing hopes.
    • Alexander Pope
      O, spring to light; auspicious Babe, be born.
  14. To issue or proceed, as from a parent or ancestor; to result, as from a cause, motive, reason, or principle.
    • Milton
      [They found] new hope to spring / Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet linked.
  15. (obsolete) To grow; to prosper.
    • Dryden
      What makes all this, but Jupiter the king, / At whose command we perish, and we spring?
  16. (architecture, masonry, transitive) To build (an arch).
    They sprung an arch over the lintel.
  17. (transitive, archaic) To sound (a rattle, such as a watchman's rattle).
    • 1850, Samuel Prout Newcombe, Pleasant pages (page 197)
      I do not know how John and his mistress would have settled the fate of the thief, but just at this moment a policeman entered — for the cook had sprung the rattle, and had been screaming "Murder" and "Thieves."

Usage notes[edit]

  • The past-tense forms sprang and sprung are both well attested historically. In modern usage, sprang is comparatively formal (and more often considered correct), sprung comparatively informal. The past participle, however, is overwhelmingly sprung; sprang as a past participle is attested, but is no longer in standard use.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun[edit]

A coil spring (mechanical device)

spring (countable and uncountable, plural springs)

  1. A leap; a bound; a jump.
    • Dryden
      The prisoner, with a spring, from prison broke.
  2. (countable) Traditionally the first of the four seasons of the year in temperate regions, in which plants spring from the ground and trees come into blossom, following winter and preceding summer.
    Spring is the time of the year most species reproduce.
    I spent my spring holidays in Morocco.
    You can visit me in the spring, when the weather is bearable.
  3. (countable) Meteorologically, the months of March, April and May in the northern hemisphere (or September, October and November in the southern).
    • 2012 March-April, Anna Lena Phillips, “Sneaky Silk Moths”, American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 172: 
      Last spring, the periodical cicadas emerged across eastern North America. Their vast numbers and short above-ground life spans inspired awe and irritation in humans—and made for good meals for birds and small mammals.
  4. (countable) The astronomically delineated period from the moment of vernal equinox, approximately March 21 in the northern hemisphere to the moment of the summer solstice, approximately June 21. (See Wikipedia-logo.png Spring (season) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia:Spring (season) for other variations.)
  5. (countable) Spring tide; a tide of greater-than-average range, that is, around the first or third quarter of a lunar month, or around the times of the new or full moon.
  6. (countable) A place where water emerges from the ground.
    This water is bottled from the spring of the river.
  7. (uncountable) The property of a body of springing to its original form after being compressed, stretched, etc.
    the spring of a bow
  8. Elastic power or force.
    • Dryden
      Heavens! what a spring was in his arm!
  9. (countable) A mechanical device made of flexible or coiled material that exerts force when it is bent, compressed or stretched.
    We jumped so hard the bed springs broke.
  10. (countable, slang) An erection of the penis.
  11. (countable) The source of an action or of a supply.
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973, § 9.
      ... discover, at least in some degree, the secret springs and principles, by which the human mind is actuated in its operations?
    • Bible, Psalms lxxxvii
      All my springs are in thee.
    • Bentley
      A secret spring of spiritual joy.
  12. Any active power; that by which action, or motion, is produced or propagated; cause; origin; motive.
    • Alexander Pope
      Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move / The hero's glory, or the virgin's love.
  13. That which springs, or is originated, from a source.
    1. A race; lineage.
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)
    2. A youth; a springald.
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
    3. A shoot; a plant; a young tree; also, a grove of trees; woodland.
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  14. (obsolete) That which causes one to spring; specifically, a lively tune.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)
  15. The time of growth and progress; early portion; first stage.
    • Bible, 1 Sam. ix. 26
      The spring of the day.
    • Shakespeare
      O how this spring of love resembleth / The uncertain glory of an April day.
  16. (countable, nautical) A rope attaching the bow of a vessel to the stern-side of the jetty, or vice versa, to stop the vessel from surging.
    You should put a couple of springs onto the jetty to stop the boat moving so much.
  17. (nautical) A line led from a vessel's quarter to her cable so that by tightening or slacking it she can be made to lie in any desired position; a line led diagonally from the bow or stern of a vessel to some point upon the wharf to which she is moored.
  18. (nautical) A crack or fissure in a mast or yard, running obliquely or transversely.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Note that season names are usually spelled in all lowercase letters in English. This is contrast to the days of the week and months of the year, which are always spelled with a capitalized first letter, for example Thursday or September.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 spring” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).

Statistics[edit]


Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Verbal noun to springe.

Noun[edit]

spring n (singular definite springet, plural indefinite spring)

  1. spring, jump, vault, leap

Related terms[edit]

Inflection[edit]

Verb[edit]

spring

  1. Imperative of springe.

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

spring

  1. first-person singular present indicative of springen
  2. imperative of springen

German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

spring

  1. Imperative singular of springen.
  2. (colloquial)First-person singular present of springen.

Scots[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

spring (plural springs)

  1. spring, springtime
  2. growth of vegetation in springtime

Verb[edit]

tae spring (third-person singular simple present springs, present participle springin, simple past sprang, past participle sprung)

  1. to spring
  2. to leap over, cross at a bound
  3. to put forth, send up or out
  4. to burst, split, break apart, break into
  5. to dance a reel

Swedish[edit]

Noun[edit]

spring n

  1. a running (back and forth)
    • 1918, Goss-skolan i Plumfield, the Swedish translation of Louisa M. Alcott, Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys (1871)
      Eftermiddagen tillbragtes med att ordna sakerna, och när springet och släpet och hamrandet var förbi, inbjödos damerna att beskåda anstalten.
      The afternoon was spent in arranging things, and when the running and lugging and hammering was over, the ladies were invited to behold the institution.

Declension[edit]

Verb[edit]

spring

  1. imperative of springa.