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.