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See also: Spree



Unknown. Some theories listed at Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “spree”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.


  • IPA(key): /spɹiː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iː


spree (plural sprees)

  1. (in combination) Uninhibited activity.
    spending spree
    • 1959, David P. Morgan, editor, Steam’s Finest Hour, Kalmbach Publishing Co., page 27:
      Then all three major builders were called upon to deliver 105 Berkshires before the buying spree was over.
    • 2022 April 25, Kate Conger, “Twitter Employees Search for Answers as Musk Deal Takes Shape”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Twitter has been on a hiring spree, spending $630 million on stock-based compensation in 2021, a 33 percent increase from the previous year.
  2. (dated) A merry frolic; especially, a drinking frolic.
    Synonym: carousal
    • 1880, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XXI, in A Tramp Abroad; [], Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company; London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC, page 205:
      Tradition says she spent the last two years of her life in the strange den I have been speaking of, after having indulged herself in one final, triumphant, and satisfying spree.
    • 1905, Upton Sinclair, chapter XXII, in The Jungle, New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 26 February 1906, →OCLC, page 262:
      It would be a long time before he could be like the majority of these men of the road, who roamed until the hunger for drink and for women mastered them, and then went to work with a purpose in mind, and stopped when they had the price of a spree.

Usage notes[edit]

Often preceded by the name of a certain activity to indicate a period of doing that activity wholeheartedly and continuously, for example, shopping spree.

Derived terms[edit]



spree (third-person singular simple present sprees, present participle spreeing, simple past and past participle spreed)

  1. (intransitive, rare) To engage in a spree.
    Synonym: carouse
    • 1892, Leonard Merrick, chapter V, in The Man Who Was Good[2], published 1921:
      And I never spreed with the fellows as a student any more than I had enjoyed myself with the lads in the playground.

Further reading[edit]