sprout / sprout/ • v. [intr.] (of a plant) put forth shoots: the weeds begin to sprout. ∎ [tr.] grow (plant shoots or hair): many black cats sprout a few white hairs. ∎ [intr.] (of a plant, flower, or hair) start to grow; spring up: crocuses sprouted up from the grass | fig. forms of nationalism sprouted as the system collapsed. • n. 1. a shoot of a plant. ∎ (sprouts) young shoots eaten as a vegetable, esp. the shoots of alfalfa, mung beans, or soybeans.2. short for Brussels sprout.