Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: springan

spring

2 verb
     
spring2 past tense sprang also sprung American English past participle sprung
1

move suddenly

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to move suddenly and quickly in a particular direction, especially by jumping [= leap]
spring out of/from
Tom sprung out of bed and ran downstairs.
spring out at somebody
Two men sprang out at me as I was walking through the park.
He sprang to his feet (=stood up suddenly) and rushed after her.
spring to somebody's aid/assistance (=move quickly to help someone)
One of the young policemen sprang to her assistance.
2

move back

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if something springs back, open etc, it moves quickly, suddenly and with force, especially after being pushed down or sideways
spring back/up
The branch sprang back and hit him in the face.
spring open/shut
The gate sprang shut behind them.
3

spring to (somebody's) mind

if someone or something springs to mind, you immediately think of them:
Two questions spring to mind.
4

spring into action

also spring to/into life to suddenly become active, start moving or start working:
They were prepared and ready to spring into action.
Finally the engine sprang to life.
5

spring a surprise

to do something surprising:
Roy is unlikely to spring any surprises.
6

tears spring to/into somebody's eyes

written used to say that someone starts to cry
7

spring into existence/being

to suddenly begin to exist:
A lot of small businesses sprang into existence during the 1980s.
8

spring a trap

a) if an animal springs a trap, it is caught by the trap
b) to make someone say or do something by tricking them
9

spring a leak

if a boat or a container springs a leak, it begins to let liquid in or out through a crack or hole
10

spring to somebody's defence

to quickly defend someone who is being criticized:
Charlene sprang immediately to her son's defence.
11

spring to attention

PMA if soldiers spring to attention, they stand suddenly upright
12

help somebody escape

[transitive + from] informal to help someone escape from prison

spring for something

phrasal verb
to pay for something:
I'll spring for the beer tonight.

spring from something

phrasal verb
to be caused by something or start from something:
behaviour which springs from prejudices

spring something on somebody

phrasal verb
to tell someone something or ask them to do something when they do not expect it and are not ready for it:
It's not fair to spring this on her without any warning.

spring up

phrasal verb
to suddenly appear or start to exist:
Fast-food restaurants are springing up all over town.

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