spring verb ( past tense sprang or ( US) sprung , past participle sprung , present participle springing ) 1 intr to leap with a sudden launching action.
2 intr to move suddenly and swiftly, by or as if by the action of a spring sprang into action The bolt sprang back .
3 to set off (a trap, etc) suddenly.
4 to fit (eg a mattress) with springs.
5 ( also spring something on someone ) to present or reveal something suddenly and unexpectedly sprang the idea on me without warning .
6 slang to engineer the escape of (a prisoner) from jail.
7 to jump over something sprang the fence .
8 a intr said of wood or something wooden, eg a plank, mast, etc: to split, crack or become warped;
b to split, crack or warp (wood or something wooden, eg a plank, mast, etc). 9 to develop or originate an idea that had sprung from one of his students .
10 intr ( spring up ) to appear or come into being suddenly New houses sprang up .
a a metal coil that can be stretched or compressed, and which will return to its original shape, especially one used to turn a mechanism, eg in a clock, watch, etc; b a similar device that is designed to absorb shock waves, eg in the shock absorbers of some motor vehicles, or to make seats, beds, etc comfortable and bouncy. 2 any place where water emerges from under ground.
3 a ( also Spring ) the season between winter and summer, when most plants begin to grow, and extending from about March to May in the N hemisphere and from about September to November in the S hemisphere. See also vernal .
b astron the period of the year between the spring equinox (see under equinox ) and the summer solstice . c an early stage of something in the spring of her career . 4 a sudden vigorous leap.
5 a the ability of a material to return rapidly to its original shape after a distorting force has been removed The elastic has lost its spring ;
b a lively bouncing or jaunty quality a spring in his step . [Anglo-Saxon springan ] springless adjective . springlike adjective . spring a leak said of a boat, bucket, etc: to develop a hole so that water can flow in or out. spring to mind to come into someone's thoughts immediately or suddenly.
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