WordNet 2.0
  • a light springing movement upwards or forwards
  • a metal elastic device that returns to its shape or position when pushed or pulled or pressed
  • "the spring was broken"
  • the elasticity of something that can be stretched and returns to its original length
  • a point at which water issues forth
  • a natural flow of ground water
  • the season of growth
  • "the emerging buds were a sure sign of spring"
  • "he will hold office until the spring of next year"
  • develop suddenly
  • "The tire sprang a leak"
  • produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly
  • "He sprang these news on me just as I was leaving"
  • spring back
  • spring away from an impact
  • "The rubber ball bounced"
  • "These particles do not resile but they unite after they collide"
  • move forward by leaps and bounds
  • "The horse bounded across the meadow"
  • "The child leapt across the puddle"
  • "Can you jump over the fence?"
  • produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly
  • "He sprang a new haircut on his wife"
  • develop into a distinctive entity
  • "our plans began to take shape"
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
  • 1. To leap; to bound; to jump.

    "The mountain stag that springs From height to height, and bounds along the plains." -- Philips.

    2. To issue with speed and violence; to move with activity; to dart; to shoot.

    "And sudden light Sprung through the vaulted roof." -- Dryden.

    3. To start or rise suddenly, as from a covert.

    "Watchful as fowlers when their game will spring." -- Otway.

    4. To fly back; as, a bow, when bent, springs back by its elastic power.

    5. To bend from a straight direction or plane surface; to become warped; as, a piece of timber, or a plank, sometimes springs in seasoning.

    6. To shoot up, out, or forth; to come to the light; to begin to appear; to emerge; as a plant from its seed, as streams from their source, and the like; -often followed by up, forth, or out.

    "Till well nigh the day began to spring." -- Chaucer.

    "To satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth." -- Job xxxviii. 27.

    "Do not blast my springing hopes." -- Rowe.

    "O, spring to light; auspicious Babe, be born." -- Pope.

    7. To issue or proceed, as from a parent or ancestor; to result, as from a cause, motive, reason, or principle.

    "[They found] new hope to spring Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet linked." -- Milton.

    8. To grow; to prosper.

    "What makes all this, but Jupiter the king, At whose command we perish, and we spring?" -- Dryden.

    To spring at
    to leap toward; to attempt to reach by a leap.

    To spring forth
    to leap out; to rush out.

    To spring in
    to rush in; to enter with a leap or in haste.

    To spring on
    or upon
    to leap on; to rush on with haste or violence; to assault.

  • 1. To cause to spring up; to start or rouse, as game; to cause to rise from the earth, or from a covert; as, to spring a pheasant.

    2. To produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly.

    "She starts, and leaves her bed, amd springs a light." -- Dryden.

    "The friends to the cause sprang a new project." -- Swift.

    3. To cause to explode; as, to spring a mine.

    4. To crack or split; to bend or strain so as to weaken; as, to spring a mast or a yard.

    5. To cause to close suddenly, as the parts of a trap operated by a spring; as, to spring a trap.

    6. 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.; as, to spring in a slat or a bar.

    7. To pass over by leaping; as, to spring a fence.

    To spring a butt
    (Naut.), to loosen the end of a plank in a ship's bottom.

    To spring a leak
    (Naut.), to begin to leak.

    To spring an arch
    (Arch.), to build an arch; -- a common term among masons; as, to spring an arch over a lintel.

    To spring a rattle
    to cause a rattle to sound. See Watchman's rattle, under Watchman.

    To spring the luff
    (Naut.), to ease the helm, and sail nearer to the wind than before; -- said of a vessel. Mar. Dict.

    To spring a
    mast or spar
    (Naut.), to strain it so that it is unserviceable.

  • 1. A leap; a bound; a jump.

    "The prisoner, with a spring, from prison broke." -- Dryden.

    2. A flying back; the resilience of a body recovering its former state by elasticity; as, the spring of a bow.

    3. Elastic power or force.

    "Heavens! what a spring was in his arm!" -- Dryden.

    4. An elastic body of any kind, as steel, India rubber, tough wood, or compressed air, used for various mechanical purposes, as receiving and imparting power, diminishing concussion, regulating motion, measuring weight or other force.

    The principal varieties of springs used in mechanisms are the spiral spring (Fig. a), the coil spring (Fig. b), the elliptic spring (Fig. c), the half- elliptic spring (Fig. d), the volute spring, the India-rubber spring, the atmospheric spring, etc.

    5. Any source of supply; especially, the source from which a stream proceeds; as issue of water from the earth; a natural fountain. "All my springs are in thee." Ps. lxxxvii. 7. "A secret spring of spiritual joy." Bentley. "The sacred spring whence and honor streams." Sir J. Davies.

    6. Any active power; that by which action, or motion, is produced or propagated; cause; origin; motive.

    "Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move The hero's glory, or the virgin's love." -- Pope.

    7. That which springs, or is originated, from a source; as: (a) A race; lineage. [Obs.] Chapman. (b) A youth; a springal. [Obs.] Spenser. (c) A shoot; a plant; a young tree; also, a grove of trees; woodland. [Obs.] Spenser. Milton.

    8. That which causes one to spring; specifically, a lively tune. [Obs.] Beau. & Fl.

    9. The season of the year when plants begin to vegetate and grow; the vernal season, usually comprehending the months of March, April, and May, in the middle latitudes north of the equator. "The green lap of the new-come spring." Shak.

    Spring of the astronomical year begins with the vernal equinox, about March 21st, and ends with the summer solstice, about June 21st.

    10. The time of growth and progress; early portion; first stage. "The spring of the day." 1 Sam. ix. 26.

    "O how this spring of love resembleth The uncertain glory of an April day." -- Shak.

    11. (Naut.) (a) A crack or fissure in a mast or yard, running obliquely or transversely. (b) 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.

    Air spring
    Boiling spring
    etc. See under Air, Boiling, etc.

    Spring back
    (Bookbinding), a back with a curved piece of thin sheet iron or of stiff pasteboard fastened to the inside, the effect of which is to make the leaves of a book thus bound (as a ledger or other account or blank book) spring up and lie flat.

    Spring balance
    a contrivance for measuring weight or force by the elasticity of a spiral spring of steel.

    Spring beam
    a beam that supports the side of a paddle box. See Paddle beam, under Paddle, n.

    Spring beauty
    (a) (Bot.) Any plant of the genus Claytonia, delicate herbs with somewhat fleshy leaves and pretty blossoms, appearing in springtime. (b) (Zoöl.) A small, elegant American butterfly (Erora læta) which appears in spring. The hind wings of the male are brown, bordered with deep blue; those of the female are mostly blue.

    Spring bed
    a mattress, under bed, or bed bottom, in which springs, as of metal, are employed to give the required elasticity.

    Spring beetle
    (Zoöl.), a snapping beetle; an elater.

    Spring box
    the box or barrel in a watch, or other piece of mechanism, in which the spring is contained.

    Spring fly
    (Zoöl.), a caddice fly; - - so called because it appears in the spring.

    Spring grass
    (Bot.), a vernal grass. See under Vernal.

    Spring gun
    a firearm disharged by a spring, when this is trodden upon or is otherwise moved.

    Spring hook
    (Locomotive Engines), one of the hooks which fix the driving-wheel spring to the frame.

    Spring latch
    a latch that fastens with a spring.

    Spring lock
    a lock that fastens with a spring.

    Spring mattress
    a spring bed.

    Spring of an arch
    (Arch.) See Springing line of an arch, under Springing.

    Spring of pork
    the lower part of a fore quarter, which is divided from the neck, and has the leg and foot without the shoulder. [Obs.] Nares.

    "Sir, pray hand the spring of pork to me." -- Gayton.

    Spring pin
    (Locomotive Engines), an iron rod fitted between the springs and the axle boxes, to sustain and regulate the pressure on the axles.

    Spring rye
    a kind of rye sown in the spring; -- in distinction from winter rye, sown in autumn.

    Spring stay
    (Naut.), a preventer stay, to assist the regular one. R. H. Dana, Jr.

    Spring tide
    the tide which happens at, or soon after, the new and the full moon, and which rises higher than common tides. See Tide.

    Spring wagon
    a wagon in which springs are interposed between the body and the axles to form elastic supports.

    Spring wheat
    any kind of wheat sown in the spring; -- in distinction from winter wheat, which is sown in autumn.


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