Definition of spring in English:

spring

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Move or jump suddenly or rapidly upwards or forwards.

    ‘I sprang out of bed’
    figurative ‘they sprang to her defence’
    • ‘One man is at the head of the boat, and he springs off first as they touch land.’
    • ‘They hid behind the doorway and listened, preparing to spring out and attack if needed.’
    • ‘I quickly sprung out of bed and into the shower.’
    • ‘Violet suddenly sprang forward and seized her by the arm.’
    • ‘She shook away the questions that had sprung unbidden to her mind and focused on the present.’
    • ‘Even some of his political foes sprang to his defence.’
    • ‘He springs up when he sees me and approaches the car.’
    • ‘Suddenly one of the men sprung forward in an attempt to grab Rachel.’
    • ‘The horse just sprung into the air and came backwards right down on her.’
    • ‘The door suddenly swung open, and they sprang apart.’
    • ‘Courageous motorists sprang to the aid of two elderly women trapped in their car after an accident in North Yorkshire.’
    • ‘Chloe then sprang out of her bed and went to her closet.’
    • ‘The two men behind her suddenly sprang into action, rushing forward, each one grabbing him under an arm.’
    • ‘He sprang to national prominence when Armagh qualified for the All-Ireland final of 1977.’
    • ‘He sprung to prominence last season when he scored the winner at Rochdale on his full debut.’
    • ‘Jimmy then sprung up, opened the door, and saw his four best buddies.’
    • ‘Then the leader sprang forward toward me, pointing his gun at me.’
    • ‘Before Whitney had a chance to really answer, Jay sprang from her bed.’
    • ‘In a instant, the door was open and he sprang into the room.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the cat sprang from the bed and pushed its way through a small hole in the door.’
    leap, jump, bound, vault, hop
    appear suddenly, appear unexpectedly, materialize
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object, with complement or adverbial Move rapidly or suddenly from a constrained position by or as if by the action of a spring.
      ‘the drawer sprang open’
      • ‘Design can be an issue, too, as aluminum stampings are more rigid than steel and prone to springing back to their original shape after being formed.’
      • ‘Before too long one of the doors sprung open and a page asked them to enter.’
      • ‘The doors sprang open and Stella was thankful that she had stepped back.’
      • ‘There was a loud click, and the chest sprang open.’
      • ‘It sprang open, and my clothes flew in all directions.’
      • ‘He started to drive off, but the boot sprang open.’
      • ‘Once the impact is over and the panel has sprung back to its original shape, the damage can hardly be seen.’
      • ‘I was rewarded by a faint click as the lock sprang open.’
      • ‘Within seconds Kailey had the cell door springing open, and she walked inside.’
      • ‘This time the top drawer sprang open, just missing my head.’
      • ‘It's hard enough to entertain youngsters in a room filled with toys, a TV and a video machine, let alone an airport lounge, or a taxi rank where the only stimulation is the odd suitcase springing open.’
      • ‘His eyes sprang open as he remembered what had happened the night before.’
      • ‘It's raining outside and black umbrellas spring open.’
      • ‘A Bradford dad-of-two was blinded when a bungee cord he was using to tie up a deckchair sprang open and hit him in the eye.’
      • ‘Sometimes, you can press the pile down with a paint guard or a piece of stiff card, but if it seems likely to spring back and stick to the wet gloss, that is not a good look.’
      • ‘This material is light, wears well and springs back to shape after being bent.’
      • ‘He stopped in front of it and touched the cabinet's cold metal exterior with a hand, running it along until he found the three locks, all of which sprang open quickly.’
      • ‘The doors to Titan's office sprang open as the last echoes of a gunshot reverberated throughout the room.’
      • ‘The lid sprang open, revealing a small object wrapped in blue silk.’
      • ‘The holder clips onto your jacket and when you get to a ski lift you simply pull it out to insert the pass into the reader and it springs back into position.’
      • ‘The branches sprang back into their original positions.’
      fly back, recoil
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Operate suddenly by means of a mechanism.
      ‘the engine sprang into life’
      • ‘Perhaps I could devise a way to plant a heavy-duty rat trap in my bag, arranged so it would not spring unless someone stuck their hand where it didn't belong.’
      • ‘The White House press machine has sprung into action.’
      • ‘She pressed down on a button and the ship shuddered as the main engine sprung to life.’
      • ‘Since the recruitment drive sprung into operation last month, a staggering 248 new members have signed up.’
      • ‘When he entered the kitchen, he reported: The trap beside the hole had indeed sprung, but there was no trace of a rat.’
      • ‘He waited until Max had lined up his shot perfectly to spring the trap.’
      • ‘There was a sudden hiss of water, and the sprinklers lining the path sprang into life.’
      • ‘The freighter's engines sprang to life, deafening its only two occupants.’
      • ‘When the alarm went off, the vibrations had sprung the trap every time.’
    3. 1.3with object Cause (a game bird) to rise from cover.
    4. 1.4informal with object Bring about the escape or release of (a prisoner)
      ‘the president sought to spring the hostages’
      • ‘Chickens, turkeys, pigs, rabbits and ducks are also being sprung from their cages and sent out to pasture.’
      • ‘The other is 23 and was recently sprung from prison after serving a couple of sentences for drug/weapons charges.’
      • ‘Is there a huge problem with renegade owners unlawfully springing their offending dogs from the doggy jail?’
      • ‘Then he is sprung from prison by close associate Mike Carter so that Bannion can lead a daring racetrack heist.’
      • ‘When two men spring their wives from prison, it goes so well they decide to make jail-breaking their business.’
      • ‘His protectors had sprung the 14-year-old Tyson from borstal on the promise of giving him a stable home and schooling.’
      • ‘All was right in the Harriet house until the culprits were sprung from jail by their eighteen-year-old son.’
      • ‘We cannot intervene with the police to get British citizens released, nor spring them from jail.’
      • ‘He's the guy who sprang you from prison four years ago. Remember?’
      • ‘His offer of a $100m dollar reward for whoever springs him from custody leads to a daring escape and chase sequence which is one of the film's highlights.’
  • 2spring fromno object Originate or arise from.

    ‘madness and creativity could spring from the same source’
    • ‘Sexual identity is rooted in every person's biology before birth and springs from a variation in our individual genome.’
    • ‘But the inspiration for Faulks' new novel originally sprang from a childhood memory of a ‘peculiar boy’ in the village where he grew up, and the tragic illness of a family friend.’
    • ‘And it's surely no coincidence that this most overtly mercenary of musical forms springs from an urban area lying only a few miles from Hollywood where the global entertainment industry is headquartered.’
    • ‘Obsession with grain-growing sprang, of course, from an age-old but well-justified fear of famine.’
    • ‘Beardslee's knowledge and passion for this issue springs from his own quest for answers following his sister's depression and suicide.’
    • ‘From this dynamic leader's audacious vision has sprung a city that is breathtaking in scale and vision.’
    • ‘Like it or not, the beauty of mathematics springs from its rigorous austerity.’
    • ‘It is not fair that Ditko goes so unmentioned, but at least some of that springs from his refusal to speak with reporters, allow himself to be photographed, etc.’
    • ‘Hope, though, does spring from some unexpected corners.’
    • ‘From there sprung his interest in that part of Africa.’
    • ‘There are several research questions that spring from the results of this study.’
    • ‘But all of this springs from a single principle: that steady, permanent relationships are key to helping children heal and families cope.’
    • ‘It may be that the reconstituted family, composed of former spouses and step relations, is a reality for many today; kindness can spring from the most unexpected sources.’
    • ‘From the set to the characters' odd and affecting mannerisms, the whole enterprise suggested the kind of apparent simplicity and artlessness that only springs from hard work.’
    • ‘Furthermore, I began to realize just how many problems and troubles spring from this fact.’
    • ‘Auster speaks of ‘…an art that springs from self-denial and spiritual struggle, from the search for one's own limits’.’
    • ‘Clearly, there's a lot of business activity in the inner cities, but only a small fraction of it appears to spring from the people who grew up there.’
    originate from, have its origins in, derive from, arise from, stem from, emanate from, proceed from, start from, issue from, evolve from, come from
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Appear suddenly or unexpectedly from.
      ‘tears sprang from his eyes’
      • ‘She hugged me again and new tears sprang from her eyes.’
      • ‘Where the blazes did he spring from?’
    2. 2.2spring up Suddenly develop or appear.
      ‘a terrible storm sprang up’
      • ‘Large commercial developments are starting to spring up in the town.’
      • ‘For those who want to enjoy the attractions of Durban without being trapped in the city, a number of coastal resorts are springing up.’
      • ‘Little interesting places to eat are springing up like tulips everywhere on Centre Street North.’
      • ‘There will be lambs in the fields soon and bulbs springing up.’
      • ‘New dive operations and resorts have sprung up everywhere.’
      • ‘A string of high-priced flat developments has sprung up across the centre, and selling agents are reporting huge demand.’
      • ‘Controversial new masts are springing up across Hampshire as a new high-tech police radio system is set to be launched.’
      • ‘Coffee shops were also springing up in the provincial cities.’
      • ‘Wood processing facilities have sprung up in many areas of the United States in recent years, particularly in areas with high landfill costs.’
      • ‘Then, almost unnoticed, a playful breeze sprang up, which turned rather suddenly into something stiffer.’
      • ‘Lights were slowly springing up all over the city and the stars began to appear over head.’
      • ‘Everywhere you turn in Glasgow it seems another new development with an evocative name is springing up.’
      • ‘Selling books is big business with branches of Waterstones, Blackwells and Ottakers springing up all over the place.’
      • ‘Many theories and approaches to development have sprung up in the past fifty years, including the post-modernism anti-development.’
      • ‘They hauled the fish on board - this time I was up on the cabin top filming - a somewhat precarious perch as a stiff wind had sprung up and the boat was rocking quite wildly.’
      • ‘The profile of the penthouse buyer is as diverse as the number of developments that have sprung up in recent years.’
      • ‘This population boom is reflected in the number of new houses springing up along the little roads leading to and from the village.’
      • ‘Gale-force winds spring up with little warning, whipping the surface of the lakes into a frenzy of white-capped waves.’
      • ‘She was concerned about the number of industrial buildings that were springing up near the motorway exit close to her home.’
      • ‘New developments, apartments, balconied villas, shops and restaurants are springing up everywhere.’
    3. 2.3spring something onwith object Present or propose something suddenly or unexpectedly to (someone)
      ‘we decided to spring a surprise on them’
      • ‘Life has a habit of springing surprises on you, pleasant and unpleasant.’
      • ‘After our mutual greetings, he sprung something on me that I wasn't expecting.’
      • ‘Usually it was Al who enjoyed springing outrageous surprises on his more staid partner.’
      • ‘How very unlike you, Eaton, to spring this surprise upon your family!’
      • ‘Latham is at his best when he springs surprises on the Government.’
      • ‘I think I might have sprung the idea on him a little too soon.’
      • ‘The biggest complaint is that the city officials went outside the approval process and sprang this on us as a done deal.’
      • ‘Anyway, I hope your first day back at University, school, or even a college of Further Education is not too hard, and your lecturer/teacher doesn't spring a surprise test on you.’
      • ‘Lal continues to spring surprises on audiences.’
      • ‘Now, you just forget we've had this conversation and make sure you behave in a suitably astonished manner when she finally springs her little surprise on you.’
      • ‘You've just sprung this on me and you expect me to react well?’
      • ‘People are clearly worried and figure, ‘They are just waiting until the election is over to spring the bad news on us.’’
      • ‘He chose a November night in 1892 to spring his idea on the Intelligentsia of Paris with a speech at the Sorbornne.’
      • ‘I feel a little guilty for springing the whole problem on her without warning.’
      • ‘Whenever something bad happens or is just sprung upon you, you always try to see that positive silver lining lurking beneath the surface somewhere.’
      • ‘But he is wary of an announcement being sprung on him.’
      • ‘He said: ‘The Home Secretary was wrong to spring his decision on the police authority, and they are within their rights to take the final decision.’’
      • ‘You just can't spring these things on someone, I need earlier notice!’
      • ‘Do you think she's angry with me for springing the wedding on her the way I did?’
      • ‘The trust's decision to close Sandra House was sprung on the residents without consultation, and with no real attempt to explain the reasoning that led to it.’
      announce suddenly, announce unexpectedly, present suddenly, present unexpectedly, introduce suddenly, introduce unexpectedly, reveal suddenly, reveal unexpectedly
      View synonyms
  • 3usually as adjective sprungwith object Cushion or fit (a vehicle or item of furniture) with springs.

    ‘a fully sprung bed’
    • ‘Combined with sundeck, swimming pool and sprung sitting room flooring for dancing, these touches might have pushed opulence towards showiness.’
    • ‘Also, the NSX felt skittish at high speed along poor surfaces, but that's not unusual for such a firmly sprung car.’
    • ‘This is a softly sprung car, which makes it roll at the slightest hint of a corner.’
    • ‘Mechanically, we spring the cars softly to maximise the grip available to the drivers but also to cope with the bumps and cambers.’
    • ‘The building also boasts one of the first sprung dance floors with a balcony, dining room with chandeliers and stained glass windows.’
    • ‘The drawing room includes a sprung German oak floor, as well as wood-panelled walls and an eye-catching fireplace in white marble.’
    • ‘In terms of car set-up, we try to spring the cars quite stiffly in order to get a responsive change of direction through the chicanes.’
    • ‘The ballroom floor was sprung but at times I feared for our lives.’
    • ‘In smaller towns, theaters may not have sprung floors or the manpower to cater to dancers' requests.’
    • ‘He introduced ambulances volantes, light, two-wheeled, sprung vehicles, drawn by two horses, for the rapid evacuation of the wounded.’
    • ‘The development will see the coach house turned into an education room with a lightly sprung floor for the provision of performance arts.’
    • ‘Last night I actually dropped him on a nice sprung wood floor during a dance rehearsal.’
  • 4no object (especially of wood) become warped or split.

    1. 4.1with object (of a boat) suffer splitting of (a mast or other part).
  • 5spring forNorth American informal no object Pay for.

    ‘don't spring for the album until you've heard it’
    • ‘When I was a lad a baseball cap was a baseball cap, even if you weren't springing for the top-of-the-line officially-licensed fitted variety.’
    • ‘He's a billionaire, but he can't spring for a 37-cent stamp?’
    • ‘After that, I started springing for cabs whenever I was in Brooklyn.’
    • ‘He's playing Atlanta tonight, and I was wondering if it'd be worth springing for the tickets.’
    • ‘You share sunscreen, swap flip-flops and take turns springing for sno-cones.’
    • ‘Of course, on the upside, we bridesmaids get to wear our own outfits and she's springing for Manolos for everyone.’
    • ‘Let's hope that for the next print run - and there will be a next - the publisher springs for a more sophisticated image.’
    • ‘She drives the men to Village Inn each week to study and even springs for their beverages, convinced that ‘a different environment will give them the boost they need.’’
    • ‘Besides, it's your folks' fault for not springing for voicemail.’
    • ‘If you can afford it, spring for the Deluxe Edition.’
    • ‘Look, vacations are expensive - so the parents might not be able to spring for arena tickets.’
    • ‘We sprung for expensive couchette seats, and ended up with our own little cabin on the boat.’
    • ‘If you don't want to spring for the whole house (bidding starts at $150,000), you can bid on a piece of plaster or wood from the place.’
    • ‘Speaking of space, if you can, spring for a cabin with a balcony.’
    • ‘We also got a bottle of Mustela baby skin freshener as a gift, and while I doubt I'd spring for this stuff myself, it does smell quite nice.’
    • ‘Few parents are willing to spring for a $250 PSP, especially when Junior already has a PlayStation 2 at home.’
    • ‘But recently while shopping at BestBuy, I purchased a washer and dryer and actually sprang for their extra warranty.’
    • ‘Next time I'm in Vegas, I'm going to spring for a $200 seat up nice and close.’
    • ‘You do have to spring for admission to the Science Center - $10 for adults and $7 for kids - but remember the popular Seattle attraction is air conditioned.’
    • ‘The first time I ever sprang for the hardcover price of a book because I couldn't wait until it came out in paper, it was for a book by Germaine Greer.’
    1. 5.1archaic with object Spend (money)
      ‘he might spring a few shillings more’
      • ‘I'd rather spring an extra dollar for one of her foil-wrapped, stuffed baked potatoes (that's real bacon in there) than content myself with institutional fries.’
      pay out, lay out, expend, disburse
      View synonyms
  • 6Australian informal with object Come upon (an illicit activity or its perpetrator)

    ‘our science teacher sprung me acting the goat’
    • ‘As we have seen this week, the Minister has been sprung.’
    • ‘He figured that nobody would ever spring him, but he figured wrong.’
    • ‘No longer did spouses have to allege physical or mental cruelty, no longer did private investigators have to spring someone in an act of adultery.’
    • ‘John was recently in New Zealand visiting from England and he got sprung for drunk driving.’
    • ‘He had snuck out of class for a crafty drag and a teacher, Jase, had sprung him.’

noun

  • 1The season after winter and before summer, in which vegetation begins to appear, in the northern hemisphere from March to May and in the southern hemisphere from September to November.

    ‘in spring the garden is a feast of blossom’
    as modifier ‘spring rain’
    • ‘Planting potted roses is relatively easy, as long as you do your planting in the spring after any chance of a frost is long past.’
    • ‘More than 5000 people enjoyed the warm spring sunshine during the festival's most action-packed day.’
    • ‘In spring, it bears masses of pale pink, vanilla-scented blooms.’
    • ‘Schoolchildren from York are looking forward to spring so they can see the results of their gardening efforts.’
    • ‘Although the spring migration has barely begun, tens of thousands of geese and huge flocks of ducks are already here.’
    • ‘Early spring is the best time of year to change your garden design.’
    • ‘The inland region has a continental climate with very cold winters, hot, humid summers, and spring and autumn seasons that are often rainy.’
    • ‘When the bulbs come up in the spring and start blooming, you should clip off the blooms as they start to wither.’
    • ‘You don't want to plant your seeds out in the spring until the danger of frost has past.’
    • ‘Some species provide beautiful displays of color for short periods in the spring or fall.’
    • ‘Koji and I were married in the spring, a year later.’
    • ‘Every spring, about 100 pairs nest here along with great blue herons and snowy egrets.’
    • ‘The peak breeding season is in late spring and early summer, although some breeding takes place throughout the year.’
    • ‘My husband and I want to travel to Europe next spring.’
    • ‘If you're anything like me, you'll be longing for the winter to come to an end and looking forward to getting outside and enjoying the spring.’
    • ‘This last week or so, with the sun shining for much of the time and a strong hint of spring in the air, a lot of people will have been spending time outdoors.’
    • ‘It was a short walk, and in the spring and summer months quite enjoyable.’
    • ‘The spring breeze blew gently through her hair as she entered the park.’
    • ‘These weeds often increase with wet springs after years where pastures were over grazed.’
    • ‘There should be a referendum in the spring or autumn of next year.’
    • ‘The club need to carry out renovations in the spring to ensure the building is fit for use throughout next season.’
    springtime, eastertide
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Astronomy The period from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice.
    2. 1.2
      short for spring tide
      • ‘The slip next to the Teign Diving Centre is usable at all states of the tide except very low springs.’
      • ‘This historic old dock, which only floods at very high springs, was used in olden days by fishermen of the local herring fleet for repairs and for drying of the nets.’
      • ‘Wrasse feed on the neap tides and on the springs.’
      • ‘At springs, the slack lasts 40 minutes and at neaps 90 minutes.’
      • ‘The archipelago has a fourteen-foot tidal difference during spring and neap so the surroundings are ever changing, revealing its secrets.’
      • ‘All the wreckage is in shallow water, less than 7 or 8m even at high tide - in fact it can be too shallow to dive at low-water springs.’
      • ‘Gordon explained that the ideal tide for the Seven Stones was a low-water spring, with a good hour of slack water and the rocks exposed.’
  • 2An elastic device, typically a helical metal coil, that can be pressed or pulled but returns to its former shape when released, used chiefly to exert constant tension or absorb movement.

    • ‘Oil helps cool the valve springs and extend their useful life.’
    • ‘Moving, loosening or adjusting door springs must be done by a garage door serviceperson.’
    • ‘In this new upholstery, the same interlaced webbing was still used, but it supported a group of springs rather than horsehair.’
    • ‘Look also for a shock-absorbing shoe - one with springs or coils or spongy material under the heel.’
    • ‘The kitchen door was on one of those springs to prevent it slamming shut, as a result of which it was well nigh impossible to close it with any kind of speed.’
    • ‘Fred Tedesco's company, Pa-Ted, makes springs and small mechanical assemblies for larger companies.’
    • ‘By loosening a jack bolt or hydraulically dropping the springs with a switch in the car, the team can get the car closer to the ground.’
    • ‘The bottom of the boxes were cushioned with springs to prevent sudden jolts harming the animals.’
    • ‘Some cutting pliers are set with a spring in the handle that makes it easier and more comfortable to use.’
    • ‘This simple action is controlled by a complex mass of gears, switches and springs, like you might find inside a watch.’
    • ‘The bed springs twanged and the wooden floor boards responded with a creak.’
    • ‘In its heyday in the 1960s, Tempered Spring employed more than 1,000 people making springs for cars, the agricultural industry, the railways and office equipment.’
    • ‘He jumped into the air as if a spring propelled him from the ground.’
    • ‘The tension on the spring can be adjusted using a wing nut so it can grip the line tightly or loosely, whatever the fishing situation demands.’
    • ‘Rossiter watched him, as lithe and graceful as ever, his slim form like a coiled spring and ready to explode with energy at any moment.’
    • ‘This apparatus is fitted with ropes and pulleys that are attached to taut springs to create tension.’
    • ‘We buy the springs for the mattresses but do the rest of the work ourselves.’
    • ‘Peter Burr is a director and shareholder of Irvine Spring Company, an Ayrshire-based business which manufactures wire shapes and springs for major electronics companies.’
    • ‘Compress the spring on the exhaust valve and measure the movement required for the valve to contact the piston.’
    • ‘Michael sat on Kay's bed, the springs squeaking as his weight hit the mattress.’
    1. 2.1mass noun The ability to spring back strongly; elasticity.
      ‘the mattress has lost its spring’
      • ‘Generally, the more twist in the carpet yarns, the more spring, which hides footprints.’
      • ‘Groaning, I attempted to sit up as I felt the sharp jabbing a of a bed coil that had long lost its spring shove its way into my side.’
      • ‘His size is a great advantage but he also has spring and ability - in fact he has every attribute to be a top line goalkeeper.’
      springiness, bounciness, bounce, resilience, elasticity, flexibility, stretch, stretchiness, give
      View synonyms
  • 3in singular A sudden jump upwards or forwards.

    ‘with a sudden spring, he leapt on to the table’
    • ‘With a spring, he jumped out of the alleyway and hoofed it back to his apartment.’
    • ‘The new year, however, will put a spring in their step.’
    • ‘He rounded the upcoming corner as only he could; a jump and flip, then a spring off the wall of an adjacent building.’
    leap, jump, bound, vault, hop
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1informal, dated An escape or release from prison.
  • 4A place where water or oil wells up from an underground source, or the basin or flow formed in such a way.

    ‘the well is fed by mountain springs’
    • ‘The water, which overflows from our three natural springs, cascades onto the clover lawn, creating an oasis.’
    • ‘Hot waterfalls cascade from its walls; steam rises from its springs.’
    • ‘The only source of water was a spring below a steep bank some thirty yards from the house.’
    • ‘I paddle about, listening to the faint plop plop of the burbling springs.’
    • ‘With their geothermal underground springs, Icelanders heat their water for next to nothing.’
    • ‘The results of the water test showed that pollution was surprisingly minimal, and that there was no sign of sea water leaking into the spring.’
    • ‘With the population surge, the springs were diverted to municipal uses and the streams dried up leaving once irrigated orchards as parched lands.’
    • ‘I couldn't really see, but I think there was a waterfall at the spring.’
    • ‘A remote Dales village which has never been connected to a mains water supply has been linked up to a moorland spring.’
    • ‘She said builders renovating houses often cut channels into underground springs, resulting in Cotswold stone-coloured silt getting into the watercourse.’
    • ‘Numerous streams running from springs on the wolds down towards the River Hull have helped shape Beverley's streets.’
    • ‘But the scheme has incurred the wrath of the Environment Agency because of its potential effect on domestic water supplies from springs in the area.’
    • ‘Vichy is known for its hot mineral springs that have been frequented since Roman times.’
    • ‘For good hiking, visit Rincón de la Vieja, which boasts many trails leading to waterfalls, warm springs, and swimming holes.’
    • ‘The hamlet is home to about 30 people who take their drinking water from a spring high on the moors above the valley - a source used for centuries.’
    • ‘An underground spring supplied water that fell into the basin from a small opening in the tunnel's side, creating an artificial waterfall.’
    • ‘Shallow springs and poorly constructed wells also are vulnerable to protozoa infection.’
    • ‘Valerie heard sounds of the forest, the chirping of birds and the tinkling of water from a nearby spring.’
    • ‘On its fertile plateau two springs gave crystal-clear water.’
    well head
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1usually springs The origin or a source of something.
      ‘the springs of his own emotions’
      • ‘It becomes impossible to see the springs of the play's action in terms of mere idiosyncratic personal grudges or teenage angst.’
      • ‘The immediate aftermath of the war was marked by a nostalgic return by many artists to the springs of Mediterranean culture.’
      origin, source, fountainhead, root, roots, basis
      View synonyms
  • 5An upward curvature of a ship's deck planking from the horizontal.

    1. 5.1 A split in a wooden plank or spar under strain.
  • 6Nautical
    A hawser laid out diagonally aft from a ship's bow or forward from a ship's stern and secured to a fixed point in order to prevent movement or assist manoeuvring.

  • 7rare A flock of teal.

    ‘a spring of teal follows and we listen as they pass’
    • ‘The spring of teals consisted of seven young ones and two old birds.’
    • ‘To catch a glimpse of that shimmering green as a spring of teal flashes by, I tell you, it's enough to restore a man's soul.’
    • ‘Birding could produce a veritable spring of teal.’
    • ‘Of all the prizes with which a wild-fowl shooter could wish to meet, a spring of teal is amongst the first.’
    • ‘On approaching the edge of a pond at a distance from a “spring” of teal, they may be seen silently reposing on the water.’

Phrases

  • spring a leak

    • (of a boat or container) develop a leak.

      • ‘One of the 12 small jet engines sprang a leak, and others aren't providing the thrust they should be.’
      • ‘Second, there was no way to predict, nor any reason to expect, the other hydraulic system would spring a leak.’
      • ‘After springing a leak below the water line early yesterday morning, skipper Andrew Tozer and the crew of La Bamba were taken aboard the 41-foot catamaran Island Fling.’
      • ‘The tanker sprang a leak when it hit a floating cargo container, in either Spanish or Portuguese waters.’
      • ‘The holding tank sprang a leak and there was water pumping in all over the basement.’
      • ‘The Prestige, laden with 77,000 tons of oil, sprang a leak in November off the northwest Spanish coast and sank six days later after snapping in half.’
      • ‘Half way across the inlet, in the black silence of the night we discovered that the boat had sprung a leak.’
      • ‘Simultaneously, the hot water tank decided to spring a leak, and water was dripping into the sitting room - the plumbers fixed it yesterday.’
      • ‘Just a few miles off the north-west of Menorca, the 500 ton coaster Francisquita sprang a leak and foundered in December 1952.’
      • ‘Why a two-year-old, double-hulled tanker would suddenly spring a leak has not been explained.’
  • spring a trap

    • 1Cause a trap for catching animals to close suddenly.

      • ‘Silverspot springs a trap by dropping rocks on it.’
      1. 1.1Trick someone into doing something.
        ‘she decided to spring the trap after noticing that her husband was behaving erratically’
        • ‘Halfway through, he sprang a trap on the Muslim leadership.’
        • ‘I believe she is about to spring a trap.’
        • ‘He waited until the Nation piece to spring a trap.’
        • ‘She didn't want to run into anything unexpected, and if the Norak were going to spring a trap, now would be the time.’

Origin

Old English spring (noun), springan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German springen. Early use in the senses ‘head of a well’ and ‘rush out in a stream’ gave rise to the figurative use ‘originate’.

Pronunciation

spring

/sprɪŋ/