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 . noun 1 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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