Definition of spring verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sprɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sprɪŋ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they spring
    BrE BrE//sprɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sprɪŋ//
    he / she / it springs
    BrE BrE//sprɪŋz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sprɪŋz//
    past simple sprang
    BrE BrE//spræŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//spræŋ//
    (North American English also) past simple sprung
    BrE BrE//sprʌŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sprʌŋ//
    past participle sprung
    BrE BrE//sprʌŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sprʌŋ//
    -ing form springing
    BrE BrE//ˈsprɪŋɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsprɪŋɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    jump/move suddenly
  1. 1  [intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) (of a person or an animal) to move suddenly and with one quick movement in a particular direction synonym leap He turned off the alarm and sprang out of bed. Everyone sprang to their feet (= stood up suddenly) when the principal walked in. The cat crouched ready to spring. The attacker sprang out at her from a doorway. (figurative) to spring to somebody’s defence/assistance (= to quickly defend or help somebody)
  2. 2  [intransitive] (of an object) to move suddenly and violently + adv./prep. The branch sprang back and hit him in the face. + adj. She turned the key and the lid sprang open.
  3. surprise
  4. 3[transitive] to do something, ask something or say something that somebody is not expecting spring something She sprang a surprise by winning the tournament. spring something on somebody I'm sorry to spring it on you, but I've been offered another job.
  5. appear suddenly
  6. 4[intransitive] + adv./prep. to appear or come somewhere suddenly Tears sprang to her eyes. He tried to bite back the words that sprang to his lips.
  7. free prisoner
  8. 5[transitive] spring somebody (informal) to help a prisoner to escape Plans to spring the hostages have failed.
  9. Word OriginOld English spring (noun), springan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German springen. Early use in the senses ‘head of a well’ and ‘rush out in a stream’ gave rise to the figurative use ‘originate’.Extra examples He sprang back in alarm. He sprang out of the car. He worked a knife blade into the drawer and it sprang open. Lisa sprang at him and kissed him on both cheeks. She sprang to her feet and ran to answer the doorbell. The drawer sprang open. The lion crouched, ready to spring. The sentry sprang to attention. One of the young police officers sprang to her assistance. The attacker sprang out at him from a doorway.Idioms  if something comes/springs to mind, you suddenly remember or think of it When discussing influential modern artists, three names immediately come to mind. (saying) people never stop hoping
    spring into action, spring into/to life
    jump to other results
    (of a person, machine, etc.) to suddenly start working or doing something ‘Let's go!’ he said, springing into action. The town springs into life (= becomes busy) during the carnival.
    (of a boat or container) to develop a hole through which water or another liquid can pass
    1. 1to make a trap for catching animals close suddenly
    2. 2to try to trick somebody into doing or saying something; to succeed in this
    Phrasal Verbsspring for somethingspring from somethingspring from…spring up
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spring