Definition of spring verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



, sprung
orsprung, sprung

jump/move suddenly

1 [intransitive] (+ adverb/preposition) (of a person or an animal) to move suddenly and with one quick movement in a particular direction synonym leapHe 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 [intransitive] (of an object) to move suddenly and violently + adverb/prepositionThe branch sprang back and hit him in the face. + adjectiveShe turned the key and the lid sprang open.


3 [transitive] to do something, ask something, or say something that someone is not expecting spring somethingShe sprang a surprise by winning the tournament. spring something on someoneI'm sorry to spring it on you, but I've been offered another job.

appear suddenly

4 [intransitive] + adverb/preposition to appear or come somewhere suddenlyTears sprang to her eyes.He tried to bite back the words that sprang to his lips.

free prisoner

5 [transitive] spring someone (informal) to help a prisoner to escapePlans to spring the hostages have failed.

come/spring to mind

if something comes/springs to mind, you suddenly remember or think of it
When discussing influential modern artists, three names immediately come to mind.come to mindspring to mind

hope springs eternal

(saying) people never stop hopinghope springs eternal

spring into action


spring into/to life

(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 into action

spring a leak

(of a boat or container) to develop a hole through which water or another liquid can passspring a leak

spring a trap

1 to make a trap for catching animals close suddenly2 to try to trick someone into doing or saying something; to succeed in thisspring a trap

spring for something

(informal) to pay for something for someone elseI'll spring for the drinks tonight.spring for

spring from something

(formal) to be caused by something; to start from somethingThe idea for the novel sprang from a trip to India.spring from

spring from…

(informal) to appear suddenly and unexpectedly from a particular placeWhere on earth did you spring from?spring from

spring up

to appear or develop quickly and/or suddenlyPlaygrounds for children are springing up all over the place.Opposition groups are springing up like mushrooms.spring up