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’
    • ‘Two stones rubbed themselves together and a spark lit and a fire was kindled on the wood piece.’
    • ‘Rannyn rolled his eyes and threw more wood on the fire sending sparks everywhere.’
    • ‘Berndon shouted when he finally coaxed the small spark into a flaming fire.’
    • ‘The pipes are broken and, caused by metal rubbing hard against metal, sparks ignite the gas.’
    • ‘The Duke threw his piece of meat into the fire, causing sparks, and got up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The striking of steel against steel threw dazzling sparks in every direction.’
    • ‘Some of the footprints still held the fire sparks in them.’
    • ‘Once again the floor was filled with sparks and fire.’
    • ‘The two work well together, striking sparks when the need arises.’
    • ‘Keep the woodpile far enough away from the fire so sparks and flames cannot reach it.’
    • ‘A full moon hung over the small camp, the sparks from the fire dancing in its glow.’
    • ‘Special effects such as fire, smoke and sparks add greatly to the atmosphere.’
    • ‘When the glass was empty, Jacob shook his head, throwing off sparks.’
    • ‘She shaded her eyes and crouched beside him, the fire crackling and sending sparks into the morning air.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their swords clashed together, emitting sparks, and making a horrible screeching sound.’
    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
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    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’
    • ‘She looked up and over at me, a spark of anger in her eyes.’
    • ‘When I was around him, his face seemed to show a small spark of happiness.’
    • ‘A spark of hope flared, when he thought of how it could've happened so long ago.’
    • ‘Ann's eyes narrowed and Ryan saw a spark of anger there.’
    • ‘Vicky's eyes darted anxiously and there was a spark of fear.’
    • ‘I tried to ignore the spark of interest that entered her eyes.’
    • ‘In a spark of anger he hated everything about Amy, from her ugly light brown hair, to her even uglier sneakers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The real passion, the spark of life, takes place in the kitchen.’
    • ‘Finally a spark of anger flared in her mother's eyes.’
    • ‘That thought kindled a tiny spark of hope in Sorsha.’
    • ‘No one in this film shows a spark of charismatic quality, much less any halfhearted attempts at believable characterization.’
    • ‘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 saw in his eyes a spark of anger and trepidation, as he said nothing.’
    • ‘He laughed at me, which sent a small spark of anger through me but I was too tired to really care.’
    • ‘In response, a sudden spark of intense jealousy stabbed through Kaezik before he stifled it and pushed it firmly from his thoughts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I hate being quizzed, so a little spark of anger flared in me.’
    • ‘Did I imagine it or was there a gleam of expectation, a spark of hope in his eyes?’
    • ‘He looked up, meeting Mac's gaze with a spark of curiosity.’
    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
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    1. 2.1 A sense of liveliness and excitement.
      ‘there was a spark between them at their first meeting’
      • ‘Nothing has a spark or spirit of contemporary Aphex Twin.’
      • ‘The job just didn't provide me with the spark, excitement, and the security I needed.’
      • ‘She had that gleam in her eyes, that nutty, excited spark.’
      • ‘The lyrics don't seem to communicate anything, and there's no vitality, passion, or spark in the musical performance.’
      • ‘What was the initial spark that got you interested in acting?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And it reminds you, I think, when you work with young actors and young film-makers, that spark that you initially had.’
      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 popped and sparked as if trying to answer, but it had only temporarily broken the silence.’
    • ‘The fire crackled and sparked, sending small bits of flame into the crisp night air.’
    • ‘The fire sparked, then relit, recovering its flames with unnerving speed.’
    • ‘The electricity sparked and sections of the subway began to catch fire.’
    • ‘Fire sparked, rose to a peak and danced under heated fumes that rose, tore at its periphery and crumbled to ashes.’
    1. 1.1 Produce sparks at the point where an electric circuit is interrupted.
  • 2with object Ignite.

    ‘the explosion sparked a fire’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you get enough methane in a basement, you can spark an explosion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He tried sparking a fire with some dry grass and twigs and a piece of flint he had found but was unsuccessful.’
    • ‘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 they are placed under rugs or carpets, heat can build and spark a fire.’
    • ‘Quickly, what was it that sparked the light bulb?’
    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’
      • ‘The most recent economic downturn has actually sparked an increase in spending on the tailored marketing vehicles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The defendant was in control insofar as he had created a foreseeable danger, which could have been sparked off by an innocent event.’
      • ‘No question, the computer age has sparked major changes in business and in everyday lives.’
      • ‘Sigman also plans to spark growth through aggressive marketing.’
      • ‘Enquiries by the Economist sparked a crisis meeting which took up most of Thursday.’
      • ‘The notion that the cinema's closure somehow sparked the riots is well considered and not totally unbelievable.’
      • ‘The 1998 Biodevastation Gathering sparked subsequent events in Seattle, New Delhi, Boston, San Diego and Toronto.’
      • ‘The 1905 Russian Revolution was sparked off by a peaceful protest held on January 22nd.’
      • ‘Ethnic rivalries then produced sharp struggles among the emerging Congolese political parties and sparked severe riots in Brazzaville in 1959.’
      • ‘Pellegrino, for example, says consumer comments often spark packaging changes.’
      • ‘This last question has sparked an interesting debate.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was by no means the type of man anyone would expect to spark the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but he did.’
      • ‘Well, this news sparked the famous debate, fruit or vegetable?’
      • ‘America's announcement in January 1950 of plans to develop the H-bomb sparked the beginnings of a global anti-nuclear protest movement.’
      • ‘I'm always on the lookout for imagery that will spark my painting process.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Those provocative words have sparked an emotional debate and strong reactions.’
      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
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • spark out

    • informal Completely unconscious.

      ‘I think he would knock Bowe spark out’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I didn't just stop him last time: I knocked him spark out.’
  • sparks fly

    • An encounter becomes heated or lively.

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

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/