Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: OCEANOGRAPHY

Sense: 1-3, 6
Date: 1500-1600
Origin: Perhaps from Middle Dutch sprayen 'to scatter small drops of liquid'
Sense: 4-5
Date: 1200-1300
Origin: Perhaps from an unrecorded Old English spræg

spray

2 noun
     
spray2
1

liquid from a container

[uncountable and countable] liquid which is forced out of a special container in a stream of very small drops:
a new hair styling spray
Most farmers use pesticide sprays.
2

container

[countable]TD a container which forces liquid out in a stream of small drops:
Mary took a perfume spray from her handbag.
3

moving liquid

a) [uncountable]HEO water in very small drops that is blown from the sea etc or sent up by vehicles on a wet road:
spray from the waves
My face was stinging from the salt spray.
b) [countable] liquid that comes quickly from somewhere in very small drops
spray of
A spray of blood came from his mouth.
4

branch

[countable] a small branch or stem with leaves or flowers on it, used for decoration [= sprig]
spray of
a spray of holly
5

flowers

[countable]DCB an attractive arrangement of flowers or leaves
spray of
a spray of violets and primroses
6

a spray of bullets/gravel etc

a lot of bullets or very small objects moving quickly through the air
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