spring / spring/ • v. (past sprang / sprang/ or sprung / sprəng/ ; past part. sprung) 1. [intr.] move or jump suddenly or rapidly upward or forward: I sprang out of bed | fig. they sprang to her defense. ∎ [intr.] move rapidly or suddenly from a constrained position by or as if by the action of a spring: the drawer sprang open. ∎ operate or cause to operate by means of a mechanism: [tr.] he prepared to spring his trap | [intr.] the engine sprang into life. ∎ [tr.] cause (a game bird) to rise from cover. ∎ [tr.] inf. bring about the escape or release of (a prisoner): the president sought to spring the hostages.2. [intr.] (spring from) originate or arise from: madness and creativity could spring from the same source. ∎ appear suddenly or unexpectedly from: tears sprang from his eyes. ∎ (spring up) suddenly develop or appear: a terrible storm sprang up. ∎ [tr.] (spring something on) present or propose something suddenly or unexpectedly to (someone): we decided to spring a surprise on them.3. [tr.] [usu. as adj.] (sprung) cushion or fit (a vehicle or item of furniture) with springs: a fully sprung mattress.4. [intr.] (esp. of wood) become warped or split. ∎ [tr.] (of a boat) suffer splitting of (a mast or other part).5. [intr.] (spring for) inf. pay for, esp. as a treat for someone else: he's never offered to spring for dinner. ∎ [tr.] archaic spend (money): he might spring a few pennies more.• n. 1. the 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 adj.] spring rain | fig. he was in the spring of his years. ∎ Astron. the period from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice. ∎ short for spring tide.2. a resilient 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. ∎ the ability to spring back strongly; elasticity: the mattress has lost its spring.3. [in sing.] a sudden jump upward or forward: with a sudden spring, he leapt onto the table. ∎ inf., dated an escape or release from prison.4. a place where water or oil wells up from an underground source, or the basin or flow formed in such a way: [as adj.] spring water. ∎ fig. the origin or a source of something: the place was a spring of musical talent.5. an upward curvature of a ship's deck planking from the horizontal. ∎ a split in a wooden plank or spar under strain. PHRASES: spring a leak (of a boat or container) develop a leak.DERIVATIVES: spring·less adj.spring·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.
1. A flow of water above ground level that occurs where the water-table intercepts the ground surface. Where the flow from a spring is not distinct (i.e. it does not give rise to obvious trickles) but tends to be somewhat dispersed, the flow is more correctly termed a ‘seep’. The reappearance of surface water that had been diverted underground in a karst region is a type of spring known as a ‘resurgence’. A major variety is the ‘Vauclusian spring’, named after the Fontaine de Vaucluse, southern France, and descriptive of the upward emergence of an underground river from a flooded solution channel.
2. See springwood.
- Flora goddess of this season. [Rom. Myth.: Hall, 130]
- flowers represent this season. [Art: Hall, 129]
- garlanded girl personification of spring. [Art: Hall, 130]
- peep frogs their voices welcome the season. [Am. Culture: Misc.]
- Persephone personification of spring. [Gk. Myth.: Cirlot, 252]
- robin harbinger of spring. [Western Culture: Misc.]
- swallow harbinger of the spring season. [Animal Symbolism: Mercatante, 164]
- turtle doves “voice of the turtle is heard.” [O.T.: Song of Songs 2:12]
- Venus goddess of this season. [Rom. Myth.: Hall, 130]
- Ver personification; portrayed as infantile and tender. [Rom. Myth.: LLEI, I: 322]
it is not spring until you can plant your foot upon twelve daisies proverbial saying, mid 19th century; meaning that mild spring weather is only assured when daisies are flowering thickly on the grass (the given number of flowers may vary).
spring tide a tide just after a new or full moon, when there is the greatest difference between high and low water.
A. place of rising, as of a stream OE.;
B. action or time of rising or beginning XIII;
C. young growth XIII;
D. first season of the year XVI (earlier †springing time XIV, spring time XV, etc.);
E. rising of the sea to its extreme height XIV (s. tide XVI);
F. elastic contrivance XV. OE. spriŋg, spryng, f. Gmc *sprenʒ-, *sprunʒ- (see next); in sense E perh. of LG. or Du. orig.
a group of animals or birds flushed from their covert; a flow of water or similar flow; a copse or grove of young trees; young shoots or new growth.
Examples : spring of blood, 1596; of honour, 1509; of all my joys, 1709; of oaks; of plants, 1601; of roses, 1667; of talk, 1818; of teal, 1450; of thoughts, 1892; of waters of grace, 1440; of wood, 1483.