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From Middle English head +‎ spring.


headspring (plural headsprings)

  1. A fountainhead; a source.
    • 2016, Johnny Molloy, Canoeing & Kayaking Florida, →ISBN:
      Now you can follow the current downstream from the headspring to the Silver River's confluence with the Ocklawaha, rather than beating your way upstream from the Ocklawaha all the way to the headspring.
  2. (figurative) A basis or foundation.
    • 1853, Henry Whiting Warner, The Liberties of America, page 236:
      Much less can we afford to follow them into the fantastic combination in which they have been sometimes represented as constituting a sort of barbarian headspring to the liberty of civilized men ; to whom politic society is thought to be a means of preserving, in part only, a freedom enjoyed by savages in much larger measure, nay in perfect plenitude.
    • 2005, Zhouying Jin, Global Technological Change: From Hard Technology to Soft Technology, →ISBN:
      The cradle of new conceptual enterprises and entrepreneurs Soft technology is the headspring for brand new ideas, the growth point for new industries and for new conceptual enterprises.
    • 2010, Samuel Kai Wah Chu, Samuel Chu, & Waltraut Ritter, Managing Knowledge for Global and Collaborative Innovations, →ISBN:
      If we can say that management philosophy provides is the headspring to tempt people, we can also say that business model would be the sacrifice to motivate people to act.
  3. (gymnastics) A move in which the gymnast places both hands on the mat with the top of the head about 6 inches in front, pushes off with the hands while flipping the legs overhead, and lands on the feet.
    • 1965, Walter G. Dunn, Gymnastics for Schools: Vaulting & Agilities, page 112:
      The technique in continuous headsprings is rather different from that employed in performing a single headspring in that the head and hands are closer together, thus reducing resistance to forward rotation and enabling fast acceleration to take place.
    • 1972, Carolyn O. Bowers, Judging and Coaching Women's Gymnastics, page 170:
      The headspring is a unique vault because it calls for a bent arm support and the touching of the horse with one's head.
    • 1980, Minnesota reporter - Issues 288-291, page 120:
      The evidence established that he was negligent in spotting the headspring Steven was attempting to perform.
  4. A spring that sits at the top of a mechanism, pushing the internal parts inward.
    • 1949, Chain Store Age - Volume 25, Issues 1-6, page 28:
      Remove the four screws from bottom of tube, then headspring and bottom assembly can be removed through bottom of tube.


headspring (third-person singular simple present headsprings, present participle headspringing, simple past and past participle headspringed)

  1. (gymnastics) To perform a headspring.
    • 1966, Laszlo Szabo, Illustrated Physical Education Through Gymnastics, page 31:
      Cartwheel with quarter-turn (Arabian Spring) ; roll back with closed feet into momentary handstand (back extension) ; front standing balance and with a leap, change the position of the feet; place hands on floor and do a momentary handstand; lie down on the front and rock backwards and forward, and do a cross-scissors with the legs on the forward movement; sit up with half-turn, bend forward twice, then roll back into sitting kneeling split position; change this position and lie on the front with hands under the shoulders and push up into front leaning rest position; raise body up steadily into headstand position without bending the legs; from this position lean forward with hips bent; then headspring into knee bending position; stand up, and with a few running steps do a handspring into knee bent position.
    • 2016, Simon Barnes, Losing It: A lifetime in pursuit of sporting excellence, →ISBN, page 49:
      From there I would walk on my head to the far end of the box and then headspring to the floor, landing on my feet.