Main definitions of spark in English

: spark1spark2

spark1

noun

  • 1A small fiery particle thrown off from a fire, alight in ashes, or produced by striking together two hard surfaces such as stone or metal.

    ‘a log fire was sending sparks on to the rug’
    figurative ‘angry sparks were flashing in her eyes’
    • ‘The striking of steel against steel threw dazzling sparks in every direction.’
    • ‘Their swords clashed together, emitting sparks, and making a horrible screeching sound.’
    • ‘When the glass was empty, Jacob shook his head, throwing off sparks.’
    • ‘In a panic, he sprayed the computer with the makeshift flamethrower, and the monitor of his computer exploded in a shower of sparks and fire.’
    • ‘The pipes are broken and, caused by metal rubbing hard against metal, sparks ignite the gas.’
    • ‘Special effects such as fire, smoke and sparks add greatly to the atmosphere.’
    • ‘The Duke threw his piece of meat into the fire, causing sparks, and got up.’
    • ‘A full moon hung over the small camp, the sparks from the fire dancing in its glow.’
    • ‘The two work well together, striking sparks when the need arises.’
    • ‘Not only did it protect him from predators, it also helped him in his hunt for food and it provided him with the sparks needed to make fire.’
    • ‘Two stones rubbed themselves together and a spark lit and a fire was kindled on the wood piece.’
    • ‘Some of the footprints still held the fire sparks in them.’
    • ‘She shaded her eyes and crouched beside him, the fire crackling and sending sparks into the morning air.’
    • ‘Berndon shouted when he finally coaxed the small spark into a flaming fire.’
    • ‘Rannyn rolled his eyes and threw more wood on the fire sending sparks everywhere.’
    • ‘Keep the woodpile far enough away from the fire so sparks and flames cannot reach it.’
    • ‘Once again the floor was filled with sparks and fire.’
    1. 1.1 A small flash of light produced by a sudden disruptive electrical discharge through the air.
      ‘there was a spark of light’
      flash, flicker, flare, glint, twinkle, scintillation, streak, spot, pinprick
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 An electrical discharge that ignites the explosive mixture in an internal combustion engine.
  • 2A small amount of a quality or intense feeling.

    ‘a tiny spark of anger flared within her’
    • ‘The real passion, the spark of life, takes place in the kitchen.’
    • ‘Through a series of chance encounters, Allie and Noah meet once more and find the spark of their previous romance is still very much alive.’
    • ‘When I was around him, his face seemed to show a small spark of happiness.’
    • ‘I hate being quizzed, so a little spark of anger flared in me.’
    • ‘No one in this film shows a spark of charismatic quality, much less any halfhearted attempts at believable characterization.’
    • ‘In a spark of anger he hated everything about Amy, from her ugly light brown hair, to her even uglier sneakers.’
    • ‘Finally a spark of anger flared in her mother's eyes.’
    • ‘He laughed at me, which sent a small spark of anger through me but I was too tired to really care.’
    • ‘I tried to ignore the spark of interest that entered her eyes.’
    • ‘She squeezed lightly and I turned to face her, saw the compassion and grief and the tiny spark of hope burning in those icy blue eyes.’
    • ‘Did I imagine it or was there a gleam of expectation, a spark of hope in his eyes?’
    • ‘In response, a sudden spark of intense jealousy stabbed through Kaezik before he stifled it and pushed it firmly from his thoughts.’
    • ‘A spark of hope flared, when he thought of how it could've happened so long ago.’
    • ‘The pretty green eyes didn't hold a trace of disgust or annoyance, just mild interest and a spark of something close to fear.’
    • ‘She looked up and over at me, a spark of anger in her eyes.’
    • ‘She saw in his eyes a spark of anger and trepidation, as he said nothing.’
    • ‘Ann's eyes narrowed and Ryan saw a spark of anger there.’
    • ‘He looked up, meeting Mac's gaze with a spark of curiosity.’
    • ‘That thought kindled a tiny spark of hope in Sorsha.’
    • ‘Vicky's eyes darted anxiously and there was a spark of fear.’
    particle, iota, jot, whit, glimmer, flicker, atom, speck, bit, trace, vestige, ounce, shred, crumb, morsel, fragment, grain, drop, spot, mite, tittle, jot or tittle, modicum, hint, touch, suggestion, whisper, suspicion, scintilla
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A sense of liveliness and excitement.
      ‘there was a spark between them at their first meeting’
      • ‘Your creative spark is stronger, and your sense of confidence and flow calms everyone around you.’
      • ‘It was a memorable concert, but it lacked the energy and spark that I'd heard on his live albums.’
      • ‘She had that gleam in her eyes, that nutty, excited spark.’
      • ‘The job just didn't provide me with the spark, excitement, and the security I needed.’
      • ‘The lyrics don't seem to communicate anything, and there's no vitality, passion, or spark in the musical performance.’
      • ‘And it reminds you, I think, when you work with young actors and young film-makers, that spark that you initially had.’
      • ‘Nothing has a spark or spirit of contemporary Aphex Twin.’
      • ‘What was the initial spark that got you interested in acting?’
      liveliness, animation, life, bounce, sparkle, effervescence, fizz, verve, spirit, pep, spiritedness, ebullience, high spirits, enthusiasm, initiative, vitality, vivacity, fire, dash, go, panache, elan, snap, zest, zeal, exuberance
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  • 3informal Used as a nickname for a radio operator or an electrician, especially in the armed forces.

    ‘I know a Sparks so I'll get him to look over it’

verb

  • 1no object Emit sparks of fire or electricity.

    ‘the ignition sparks as soon as the gas is turned on’
    • ‘The fire sparked, then relit, recovering its flames with unnerving speed.’
    • ‘Fire sparked, rose to a peak and danced under heated fumes that rose, tore at its periphery and crumbled to ashes.’
    • ‘The fire crackled and sparked, sending small bits of flame into the crisp night air.’
    • ‘The fire popped and sparked as if trying to answer, but it had only temporarily broken the silence.’
    • ‘The electricity sparked and sections of the subway began to catch fire.’
    1. 1.1 Produce sparks at the point where an electric circuit is interrupted.
  • 2with object Ignite.

    ‘the explosion sparked a fire’
    • ‘Many dogs have chewed through dangerous items like extension cords and the like. This of course can injure the dog severely or even spark a fire.’
    • ‘He tried sparking a fire with some dry grass and twigs and a piece of flint he had found but was unsuccessful.’
    • ‘Quickly, what was it that sparked the light bulb?’
    • ‘If you get enough methane in a basement, you can spark an explosion.’
    • ‘The blue lights in the centre sparked a little with the remaining power, but all the light soon died away and all that remained was the moonlight.’
    • ‘The Reavers sat near the fire pit they had gathered; one lit the kindling, sparking a roaring fire in the middle of the morning.’
    • ‘If you have sufficient physical energy but are feeling dull and languid, you need a movement pattern with some creative fire to spark your life force.’
    • ‘If they are placed under rugs or carpets, heat can build and spark a fire.’
    1. 2.1 Provide the stimulus for (an event or process)
      ‘the trial sparked a furious row’
      ‘the severity of the plan sparked off street protests’
      • ‘No question, the computer age has sparked major changes in business and in everyday lives.’
      • ‘Pellegrino, for example, says consumer comments often spark packaging changes.’
      • ‘Ethnic rivalries then produced sharp struggles among the emerging Congolese political parties and sparked severe riots in Brazzaville in 1959.’
      • ‘Sigman also plans to spark growth through aggressive marketing.’
      • ‘The 1905 Russian Revolution was sparked off by a peaceful protest held on January 22nd.’
      • ‘Well, this news sparked the famous debate, fruit or vegetable?’
      • ‘The notion that the cinema's closure somehow sparked the riots is well considered and not totally unbelievable.’
      • ‘He was by no means the type of man anyone would expect to spark the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but he did.’
      • ‘The delivery giant's founder recalls how he started it, what made it take off, and why it helped spark a revolution in business’
      • ‘The definition of ‘medically necessary procedures’ has also sparked debate.’
      • ‘Those provocative words have sparked an emotional debate and strong reactions.’
      • ‘This last question has sparked an interesting debate.’
      • ‘America's announcement in January 1950 of plans to develop the H-bomb sparked the beginnings of a global anti-nuclear protest movement.’
      • ‘Since the beginning of the year, this political shift has sparked a debate on the exploitation of ancient sites and their images for commercial ends.’
      • ‘The defendant was in control insofar as he had created a foreseeable danger, which could have been sparked off by an innocent event.’
      • ‘The most recent economic downturn has actually sparked an increase in spending on the tailored marketing vehicles.’
      • ‘The 1998 Biodevastation Gathering sparked subsequent events in Seattle, New Delhi, Boston, San Diego and Toronto.’
      • ‘I'm always on the lookout for imagery that will spark my painting process.’
      • ‘While he said he didn't know exactly what sparked his outburst, there is little doubt that it was connected to the frequent intimidation he suffered at school.’
      • ‘Enquiries by the Economist sparked a crisis meeting which took up most of Thursday.’
      give rise to, cause, lead to, set in motion, occasion, bring about, bring on, begin, start, initiate, precipitate, prompt, trigger, trigger off, set off, touch off, provoke, incite, stimulate, stir up
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Phrases

  • spark out

    • informal Completely unconscious.

      ‘I think he would knock Bowe spark out’
      • ‘Two years ago, big Manny Siaca, now a light-heavyweight, was ahead on points against Mitchell before the champion knocked him spark out in the last round.’
      • ‘I didn't just stop him last time: I knocked him spark out.’
      • ‘One of Ali's greatest admirers is the man who once came very close to being knocked spark out on live television by the selfsame Ali.’
      • ‘His wife found him on the settee spark out with his phone still in his hand, so being the loving wife she went to put it on charge for him.’
      • ‘I turn my back to him to check the mixing desk and when I turn round he's spark out, cigarette hanging from his bottom lip and guitar still slung across his body.’
  • sparks fly

    • An encounter becomes heated or lively.

      ‘sparks always fly when you two get together’
      • ‘Olschok seems more preoccupied by attempting to thrill the audience than he his trying at make sure sparks fly between the two leads.’
      • ‘Sure Ben was nice and held me when I needed comforting but Trevor's touch made sparks fly for some reason.’
      • ‘What kind of sparks fly when Olivia realizes her dreams of a lazy weekend are thwarted?’
      • ‘Watch the sparks fly in some churches if and when such a discussion takes place.’
      • ‘I at least want the opportunity, and the chance to see if the sparks fly like I have been dreaming they will!’
      • ‘The moment you two met in that studio, the moment your hands touched, I saw sparks fly.’
      • ‘From the very first he had seen the sparks fly between them, but he had never imagined that it would come to this.’
      • ‘Lisa was disappointed, she really wanted to see sparks fly between the two of them.’
      • ‘At times, she swore she saw a few sparks fly in the space between the two.’
      • ‘One day someone will get Tiga and Kelis on a track together, and watch the sparks fly when they do.’
  • strike sparks off each other (or one another)

    • (of two or more people) creatively inspire each other while working on something.

      ‘part of the art of opera is to strike sparks off one another’
      • ‘As befits such music, the singers of Bampton opera are all fine ensemble players, striking sparks off each other, and clearly enjoying the often ridiculous fun of these pieces.’
      • ‘Diana Quick and Madeleine Potter strike sparks off each other that ignite the theatre, the play and the audience.’
      • ‘They were best friends all day, striking sparks off each other and revelling in the whole occasion: high-fiving and bantering and telling each other how great they were.’
      • ‘She and Brian strike sparks off each other in a bad way.’

Origin

Old English spærca, spearca, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

spark

/spɑːk/

Main definitions of spark in English

: spark1spark2

spark2

noun

archaic
  • A lively young man.

verb

[NO OBJECT]archaic
  • Engage in courtship.

    ‘he went a sparking among the rosy country girls’

Origin

Early 16th century: probably a figurative use of spark.

Pronunciation

spark

/spɑːk/