Definition of spring verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they spring
    he / she / it springs
    past simple sprang
    past participle sprung
    -ing form springing
    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 someone's defense/assistance (= to quickly defend or help someone)
  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 someone 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. Idioms
    come/spring to mind
    jump to other results
    if something comes/springs to mind, you suddenly remember or think of it When discussing influential modern artists, three names immediately come to mind.
    hope springs eternal(saying)
    jump to other results
    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.
    spring a leak
    jump to other results
    (of a boat or container) to develop a hole through which water or another liquid can pass
      spring a trap
      jump to other results
    1. 1to make a trap for catching animals close suddenly
    2. 2to try to trick someone into doing or saying something; to succeed in this
    Phrasal Verbsspring for somethingspring from somethingspring from…spring up
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: spring