Definition of sprout in English:

sprout

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a plant) put out shoots.

    ‘the weeds begin to sprout’
    • ‘Some other plants had survived - a small convolvulus, golden lamium and creeping geranium were beginning to sprout so these were potted up.’
    • ‘I was amazed to find that the comfrey plants which were only just sprouting a couple of days ago, all now have proper leaves!’
    • ‘Corn is finally sprouting in the field that had the large pool of water standing in it much of the spring.’
    • ‘It seeds madly and sprouts from the least little bit of root left in the ground.’
    • ‘Only a small percentage from each weed species sprouts each year.’
    • ‘Basically those plants that can sprout the quickest and grow the fastest literally shade out their competitors and they're more likely to produce seeds.’
    • ‘I'm holding my breath, but it looks like my pepper seeds are sprouting!’
    • ‘They sprout in the spring, grow foliage, then produce flowers and finally seeds.’
    • ‘Chitting describes the process whereby seeds are placed between layers of damp kitchen towel and allowed to sprout prior to planting.’
    • ‘The two blueberry bushes are sprouting and I've watered them a little bit.’
    • ‘Some species will sprout right away; others could take a year or more to grow.’
    • ‘A Forest Service staff geneticist planted them anyway, and the seeds sprouted.’
    • ‘They couldn't give them much water, but in a few days, the seeds had sprouted anyway.’
    • ‘In the field, bulbs sprout after the first rains in the autumn, and plants may flower by the end of winter (March).’
    • ‘During the spring new plants sprout but their fruits don't immediately ripen.’
    • ‘The point is to wait until the soil is so chilled that seed cannot sprout, but stays dormant until warming soil and moisture trigger germination in spring.’
    • ‘After planting, the seeds sprout and plants emerge more or less normally.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, bulbs and seeds sprout, trees bud, and insects emerge and start consuming the tender foliage.’
    germinate, put forth shoots, bud
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    1. 1.1with object Grow (plant shoots or hair)
      ‘many black cats sprout a few white hairs’
      • ‘Keep in mind that shaving or otherwise removing a hair from a mole is considered safe, but keep track of which ones sprout hair and which ones don't.’
      • ‘In an old-growth forest, rotting trees sprouting new saplings are a common sight.’
      • ‘If the basement is too warm, the plants will sprout weak growth.’
      • ‘She looked at me as if I'd sprouted purple hair.’
      • ‘The barley was first allowed to germinate, or sprout rootlets, in a moist environment.’
      • ‘I was surprised to find it had sprouted new branches 15 cm long, with flowers!’
      • ‘Next spring, these cloves will sprout their leaves and start to make new bulbs.’
      • ‘He has also sprouted an abundance of facial hair.’
      • ‘She had a mole on the left side of her chin which sprouted hairs as if it had a life of its own.’
      • ‘Beech is usually quite amenable to hard cutting back, as long as it gets plenty of light it will quickly sprout new shoots from the older wood.’
      • ‘This perfume is made from the bulb of a plant with the same name, a plant that grows locally and sprouts tiny white flowers.’
      • ‘The spokesman added that many sportsmen sprouted facial hair and wore their hair long in the 1970s.’
      • ‘To look the part, I let my hair grow down to the middle of my back, sprouted a goatee, and put six diamond studs in my left ear.’
      • ‘Though drab from October to March, this bird, which is actually more closely related to puffins than auklets, sprouts a small white horn and feathery facial plumes during breeding season.’
      • ‘Twenty years later, still sprouting sideburns and a head of thick, oil-black hair, Wolfe still looks every bit the rock 'n' roll dude.’
      • ‘The bass player, an exceptionally tall, lean man with a bald head out of which sprouted a few knots of corkscrewed hair, looked a bit like Curtly Ambrose, the once-feared West Indies pace bowler.’
      • ‘When I was twelve I began sprouting my first pubic hair, and I was aghast.’
      • ‘It has already sprouted three new shoots around the cutting and shows no sign of slowing.’
      • ‘She opens her eyes, and looks at me as though I've sprouted horns.’
      • ‘That morning our guide, Kundan, had led Derek and I through rhododendron trees sprouting pink and red flowers in the April Himalayas.’
      grow, develop
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    2. 1.2no object (of a plant, flower, or hair) start to grow; spring up.
      ‘crocuses sprouted up from the grass’
      • ‘The leafy stems sprout from the underground tuberous roots in early spring.’
      • ‘A thick layer of snow lies on the rooftops, lights flash and twinkle on every street and a dazzling forest of trees has sprouted up all over the city.’
      • ‘In the Mediterranean, I've seen large, robust fig trees sprouting from craggy slopes and fractured rock cliffs.’
      • ‘Wild plants and flowers sprouted all over the place, creeping up the trees.’
      • ‘When I walked through the site earlier this year, lush vegetation was sprouting among the rusting iron columns in places.’
      • ‘Imagine grass, wildflowers, shrubs, or even trees sprouting from your rooftop.’
      • ‘Weeds have sprouted up vigorously on the long stretch of land that leads to the water's edge.’
      • ‘Banyan trees usually sprout at the most unlikely spots, like rooftops, cracks in concrete structures or over walls.’
      • ‘But then the weeds start sprouting up, and for every one you pull, there are five more to replace it.’
      • ‘Weeds sprouted through the cracks in the concrete.’
      • ‘Unchecked weeds sprouted wildly between the cracks in the pavements where overgrown and unruly front lawns had spilled over the remains of collapsed walls.’
      • ‘Plants began sprouting up from the ground, and it got much, much hotter.’
      • ‘I stared at him as if he suddenly had sprouted horns.’
      • ‘Grass, trees, and flowers sprouted from the ground until the entire plain was full of life.’
      • ‘My green onion plant, that had sprouted six inches, suddenly wilted and died.’
      • ‘The doorstep was barely visible through the undergrowth - and weeds were sprouting out of one section of the roof.’
      • ‘With the first rains, leaves sprout on trees and bushes and the savannah grass grows to several yards within a few months.’
      • ‘Weeds start sprouting in the empty spaces in beds and borders and even in pots and containers.’
      • ‘The area was first settled in the 1830s and buildings began sprouting up on the Station site not long after.’
      • ‘In some areas near the edge of the berm, new grass has sprouted up along with some small semisucculent plants.’
      spring up, shoot up, come up, grow, burgeon, develop, appear, mushroom, proliferate
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    3. 1.3no object Appear or develop suddenly and in large numbers.
      ‘plush new hotels are sprouting up everywhere’
      • ‘Nursing homes are sprouting like mushrooms even here in the countryside.’
      • ‘Across the country, smarter, better-planned, more walkable developments are sprouting up without sprawling out.’
      • ‘Also, a new industry has sprouted to help manage relocation costs, which often includes helping an employee's spouse or partner find employment in their new area.’
      • ‘Dance on film is sprouting up everywhere.’
      • ‘A bountiful crop of new nautical books sprouted up this year that should feed any boater's desire to remain connected, however vicariously, to the sea during the winter.’
      • ‘A bar dominated the front of the room, and table and booths sprouted up all around the room.’
      • ‘Mutoko is the starkest example of an African media revolution which has seen a growing number of independent radio stations sprout up across the continent.’
      • ‘There is no way they can keep investment excitement from sprouting up all over the world.’
      • ‘Denominations have sprouted over the history of the church for a number of reasons.’
      • ‘A growing industry has sprouted to serve companies seeking to shake loose extra cash.’
      • ‘As proposals for hazardous waste incinerators sprouted up throughout the country, The Rush to Burn spread like wildfire.’
      • ‘Nineteen film funds have sprouted in Korea this year alone, helping reinvigorate the local industry.’
      • ‘But, such is the demand, many firms have sprouted up offering birthday treats for children.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, many new houses are sprouting up around the reservoir which blocks the natural drainage from rain that previously helped fill the reservoir.’
      • ‘In the last few years, two cafés and a winery have sprouted up, and a fresh produce and fish market is to open any day.’
      • ‘We were disconcerted by Northern Ireland's aggressive vegetation, all of it a deep dayglo green and sprouting in every available thimbleful of soil.’
      • ‘The land rush for new information domains is exposing weaknesses in its registrar's infrastructure and already protest sites are sprouting up.’
      • ‘But even as publishing houses are sprouting up all over India, there isn't enough coverage of books in the Indian media.’
      • ‘The Russian Revolution provoked immense fear in conservative Europe, especially as communist movements sprouted in Hungary, Finland, France, and Germany.’
      • ‘Becoming an industry leader requires more than sprouting locations across the country.’

noun

  • 1A shoot of a plant.

    ‘the flower pots are full of green sprouts’
    • ‘From the ground, green sprouts start to appear through the cracks in the brickwork.’
    • ‘Top-dress lightly with sand, topsoil, and sifted compost, and keep the lawn well watered until the new sprouts emerge.’
    • ‘It's as easy to grow as green onions - just push the cloves down into the soil and in a few weeks, you'll have sprouts poking through.’
    • ‘Then, late in spring, it started showing a few green sprouts.’
    • ‘When buying garlic, look for firm heads with papery skins, and avoid any with green sprouts.’
    sprout, offshoot, scion, sucker, bud, spear, runner, tendril, sprig, cutting
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    1. 1.1sprouts Young shoots, especially of alfalfa, mung beans, or soybeans, eaten as a vegetable.
      • ‘Using alfalfa sprouts to relieve hot flashes is a successful folk remedy from New Mexico.’
      • ‘Soy sprouts can be used in salads, soups, casseroles and stir-fry dishes.’
      • ‘Add the parsley, sunflower sprouts, bell pepper, and romaine lettuce; toss to coat, season, and set aside.’
      • ‘For the salad, as I wanted something more than just tofu and cucumber, I added celery, maui sweet onion, and alfalfa and onion sprouts.’
      • ‘Foods that can become contaminated with Salmonella include raw or undercooked meats, unpasteurized milk, raw or lightly cooked eggs and alfalfa sprouts.’
      • ‘Drizzle the dressing over the salad and garnish with a few extra snow pea sprouts and cracked black pepper.’
  • 2

    short for Brussels sprout
    • ‘My colleague selected honey-glazed pork in garlic, together with roast potatoes, sprouts and diced swede.’
    • ‘In the poll of more than 1000 shoppers, 70% of respondents said they enjoy sprouts as part of their Christmas dinner.’
    • ‘Check winter vegetables, particularly sprouts, cabbage and broccoli for signs of black aphids.’
    • ‘I love sprouts but I only eat them at Christmas.’
    • ‘I love very basic vegetables like potatoes and broccoli and asparagus and sprouts.’

Origin

Middle English: of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch spruiten and German spriessen.

Pronunciation

sprout

/sprəʊt/