spring

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • verb to make a rapid upwards or forwards movement

Agriculture

  • noun a place where water comes naturally out of the ground
  • noun the season of the year following winter and before summer, when days become longer and the weather progressively warmer
  • noun a metal device which, when under tension, tries to resume its previous position

Cars & Driving

  • noun a coil, strip or disc of special steel, a block of rubber or a gas (e.g. air spring) which is elastic enough to absorb and give back energy

Construction

  • An elastic body or shape, such as a spirally wound metal coil, that stores energy by distorting and imparts that energy when it returns to its original shape.
  • The line or surface from which an arch rises.

Military

  • noun a flexible piece of metal (often in the form of tightly coiled wire), which is used as a shock absorber or to keep a catch or clip closed or to maintain tension

Travel

  • noun a small stream of water coming out of the ground
  • noun a season of the year following winter when plants begin to grow and put out leaves

Origin & History of “spring”

The noun spring and the verb spring come from the same source: the Indo-European base *sprengh-, which denoted ‘rapid movement’. Of its Germanic verbal descendants, German and Dutch springen, like English spring, have moved on semantically to ‘jump’, but Swedish springa ‘run’ has stayed closer to its roots. The noun spring in Old English times denoted the place where a stream ‘rises’ from the ground, which soon evolved metaphorically into ‘source, origin’ in general. The notion of ‘rising’ was also applied figuratively to the ‘beginning of the day’ and to the ‘emergence of new growth’, and the latter led in the 16th century, via the expression spring of the year, to the use of spring for the ‘season following winter’ (replacing the previous term Lent).
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