Definition of spray noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//spreɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//spreɪ//
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] very small drops of a liquid that are sent through the air, for example by the wind sea spray A cloud of fine spray came up from the waterfall. (figurative) a spray of machine-gun bullets
  2. 2  [uncountable, countable] (especially in compounds) a substance that is forced out of a container such as an aerosol, in very small drops a can of insect spray (= used to kill insects) body spray see also hairspray
  3. 3  [countable] a device or container, for example an aerosol, that you use to apply liquid in fine drops a throat spray Use a spray to apply the weedkiller.
  4. 4[countable] an act of applying liquid to something in very small drops I gave the plants a quick spray.
  5. 5[countable] a small branch of a tree or plant, with its leaves and flowers or berries, that you use for decoration synonym sprig
  6. 6[countable] an attractive arrangement of flowers or jewellery, that you wear a spray of orchids
  7. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 4 early 17th cent. (earlier as spry): related to Middle Dutch spra(e)yen ‘sprinkle’. noun senses 5 to 6 Middle English: representing late Old English (e)sprei, recorded in personal and place names, of unknown origin.Extra examples Spray flew up onto the rocks. The boat sent a cloud of spray up behind it. The police used pepper spray on demonstrators. a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray a spray of salt water The advertisement showed a group of horsemen on the beach, galloping through the sea spray. The skunk is capable of ejecting a spray of foul-smelling liquid.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spray