Webster's Dictionary, 1913
[ Dim. of spark
.] 1. A little spark; a scintillation.
As fire is wont to quicken and go Chaucer.
From a sparkle sprungen amiss,
Till a city brent up is.
The shock was sufficiently strong to strike out some sparkles of his fiery temper. Prescott. 2. Brilliancy; luster; as, the sparkle of a diamond.
Sparkle intransitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Sparkled
; present participle & verbal noun Sparkling
.] [ See Sparkle
, Spark of fire.] 1. To emit sparks; to throw off ignited or incandescent particles; to shine as if throwing off sparks; to emit flashes of light; to scintillate; to twinkle; as, the blazing wood sparkles ; the stars sparkle .
A mantelet upon his shoulder hanging Chaucer. 2. To manifest itself by, or as if by, emitting sparks; to glisten; to flash.
Bretful of rubies red, as fire sparkling .
I see bright honor sparkle through your eyes. Milton. 3. To emit little bubbles, as certain kinds of liquors; to effervesce; as, sparkling wine. Syn.
-- To shine; glisten; scintillate; radiate; coruscate; glitter; twinkle.
Sparkle transitive verb To emit in the form or likeness of sparks. "Did sparkle forth great light." Spenser.
Sparkle transitive verb
[ Confer Sparble
.] 1. To disperse.
The Landgrave hath sparkled his army without any further enterprise. State Papers. 2. To scatter on or over.
[ Obsolete] Purchas.
Sparkler noun One who scatters; esp., one who scatters money; an improvident person. [ Obsolete]
Sparkler noun One who, or that which, sparkles.
Sparkler noun (Zoology) A tiger beetle.
Sparklet noun A small spark. [ Obsolete]
Sparkliness noun Vivacity. [ Obsolete] Aubrey.
Sparkling adjective Emitting sparks; glittering; flashing; brilliant; lively; as, sparkling wine; sparkling eyes.
, noun Syn.
-- Brilliant; shining. See Shining
Sparling noun [ Akin to German spierling , spiering , Dutch spiering : confer French éperlan .] (Zoology) (a) The European smelt ( Osmerus eperlanus ). (b) A young salmon. (c) A tern. [ Scot. & Prov. Eng.]
Sparlyre noun [ Anglo-Saxon spear- lira .] The calf of the leg. [ Obsolete] Wyclif (Deut. xxviii. 35).
Sparoid adjective [ Latin sparus the gilthead + -oid : confer French sparoïde .] (Zoology) Of or pertaining to the Sparidæ , a family of spinous-finned fishes which includes the scup, sheepshead, and sea bream. -- noun One of the Sparidæ .
Sparpiece noun (Architecture) The collar beam of a roof; the spanpiece. Gwilt.
Sparpoil transitive verb
[ See Sparble
.] To scatter; to spread; to disperse.
[ Middle English sparwe
, Anglo-Saxon spearwa
; akin to Old High German sparo
, German sper
ling, Icelandic spörr
, Danish spurv
, Swedish sparf
, Goth. sparwa
; -- originally, probably, the quiverer or flutterer, and akin to English spurn
. See Spurn
, and confer Spavin
.] 1. (Zoology) One of many species of small singing birds of the family Fringilligæ , having conical bills, and feeding chiefly on seeds. Many sparrows are called also finches , and buntings . The common sparrow, or house sparrow, of Europe ( Passer domesticus ) is noted for its familiarity, its voracity, its attachment to its young, and its fecundity. See House sparrow , under House .
» The following American species are well known; the chipping sparrow
, or chippy
, the sage sparrow
, the savanna sparrow
, the song sparrow
, the tree sparrow
, and the white-throated sparrow
(see Peabody bird
). See these terms under Sage
, etc. 2. (Zoology) Any one of several small singing birds somewhat resembling the true sparrows in form or habits, as the European hedge sparrow. See under Hedge .
He that doth the ravens feed, Shak. Field sparrow
Yea, providently caters for the sparrow ,
Be comfort to my age!
, Fox sparrow
, etc. See under Field , Fox , etc.
-- Sparrow bill
, a small nail; a castiron shoe nail; a sparable.
-- Sparrow hawk
. (Zoology) (a) A small European hawk ( Accipiter nisus ) or any of the allied species. (b) A small American falcon ( Falco sparverius ). (c) The Australian collared sparrow hawk ( Accipiter torquatus ).
The name is applied to other small hawks, as the European kestrel and the New Zealand quail hawk. -- Sparrow owl (Zoology)
, a small owl ( Glaucidium passerinum ) found both in the Old World and the New. The name is also applied to other species of small owls.
-- Sparrow spear (Zoology)
, the female of the reed bunting.
[ Prov. Eng.]
[ Corrupted from asparagus
[ Colloq.] See the Note under Asparagus
Sparrowwort noun (Botany) An evergreen shrub of the genus Erica ( E. passerina ).
[ From Spar
.] Resembling spar, or consisting of spar; abounding with spar; having a confused crystalline structure; spathose. Sparry iron (Min.)
, siderite. See Siderite (a) .
-- Sparry limestone (Min.)
, a coarsely crystalline marble.
[ Compar. Sparser
; superl. Sparsest
.] [ Latin sparsus
, past participle of spargere
to strew, scatter. Confer Asperse
.] 1. Thinly scattered; set or planted here and there; not being dense or close together; as, a sparse population. Carlyle. 2. (Botany) Placed irregularly and distantly; scattered; -- applied to branches, leaves, peduncles, and the like.
Sparse transitive verb [ Latin sparsus , past participle of spargere to scatter.] To scatter; to disperse. [ Obsolete] Spenser.
Sparsedly adverb Sparsely. [ Obsolete]
Sparsely adverb In a scattered or sparse manner.
Sparseness noun The quality or state of being sparse; as, sparseness of population.
Sparsim adverb [ Latin , from spargere to scatter.] Sparsely; scatteredly; here and there.
Spartan adjective [ Latin Spartanus .] Of or pertaining to Sparta, especially to ancient Sparta; hence, hardy; undaunted; as, Spartan souls; Spartan bravey. -- noun A native or inhabitant of Sparta; figuratively, a person of great courage and fortitude.
Sparteine noun (Chemistry) A narcotic alkaloid extracted from the tops of the common broom ( Cytisus scoparius , formerly Spartium scoparium ), as a colorless oily liquid of aniline-like odor and very bitter taste.
Sparterie noun [ French, from Spanish esparto esparto, Latin spartum , Greek ....] Articles made of the blades or fiber of the Lygeum Spartum and Stipa (or Macrochloa) tenacissima , kinds of grass used in Spain and other countries for making ropes, mats, baskets, nets, and mattresses. Loudon.
[ Confer Icelandic spar...a
.] An Anglo-Saxon battle-ax, or halberd.
He hath a sparth of twenty pound of weight. Chaucer.
Sparve noun (Zoology) The hedge sparrow. [ Prov. Eng.]
Spary adjective Sparing; parsimonious. [ Obsolete]
[ French spasme
, Latin spasmus
, Greek ..., from ..., ..., to draw, to cause convulsion. Confer Span
, transitive verb
] 1. (Medicine) An involuntary and unnatural contraction of one or more muscles or muscular fibers.
» Spasm are usually either clonic
. In clonic spasm
, the muscles or muscular fibers contract and relax alternately in very quick succession. In tonic spasm
, the contraction is steady and uniform, and continues for a comparatively long time, as in tetanus. 2. A sudden, violent, and temporary effort or emotion; as, a spasm of repentance. Cynic spasm (Medicine) See under Cynic .
-- Spasm of the chest
. See Angina pectoris , under Angina .
Spasmatical adjective Spasmodic. [ Obsolete]
[ Greek ...; ... a convulsion + ... likeness: confer French spasmotique
.] 1. (Medicine) Of or pertaining to spasm; consisting in spasm; occuring in, or characterized by, spasms; as, a spasmodic asthma. 2. Soon relaxed or exhausted; convulsive; intermittent; as, spasmodic zeal or industry. Spasmodic croup (Medicine)
, an affection of childhood characterized by a stoppage of brathing developed suddenly and without fever, and produced by spasmodic contraction of the vocal cords. It is sometimes fatal. Called also laryngismus stridulus , and childcrowing .
-- Spasmodic stricture
, a stricture caused by muscular spasm without structural change. See Organic stricture , under Organic .
Spasmodic noun (Medicine) A medicine for spasm.
Spasmodical adjective Same as Spasmodic , adjective
-- Spas*mod"ic*al*ly adverb
[ Latin spasticus
, Greek ..., from ... to draw: confer French spastique
. See Spasm
.] (Medicine) Of or pertaining to spasm; spasmodic; especially, pertaining to tonic spasm; tetanic.
Spastically adverb Spasmodically.
1. A state of spasm. 2. The tendency to, or capability of suffering, spasm.
Spat imperfect of Spit .
[ Obsolete or R.]
Spat noun [ From the root of spit ; hence, literally, that which is ejected.] A young oyster or other bivalve mollusk, both before and after it first becomes adherent, or such young, collectively.
Spat intransitive verb & t. To emit spawn; to emit, as spawn.
[ Confer Pat
.] 1. A light blow with something flat.
[ U.S. & Prov. Eng.] 2. Hence, a petty combat, esp. a verbal one; a little quarrel, dispute, or dissension.
[ U. S.]
Spat intransitive verb To dispute. [ R.] Smart.
Spat transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Spatted
; present participle & verbal noun Spatting
.] To slap, as with the open hand; to clap together; as the hands.
[ Local, U.S.]
Little Isabel leaped up and down, spatting her hands. Judd.
[ Short for Spatterdash
.] 1. A legging; a gaiter.
[ Scot. & Dial. Eng.] 2. A kind of short cloth or leather gaiter worn over the upper part of the shoe and fastened beneath the instep; -- chiefly in plural
Spatangoid adjective (Zoology) Of or pertaining to the Spatangoidea. -- noun One of the Spatangoidea.
Spatangoidea noun plural
[ New Latin See Spatangus
, and -oid
.] (Zoology) An order of irregular sea urchins, usually having a more or less heart-shaped shell with four or five petal-like ambulacra above. The mouth is edentulous and situated anteriorly, on the under side.
Spatangus noun [ New Latin , from Latin spatangius a kind of sea urchin, Greek ....] (Zoology) A genus of heart-shaped sea urchins belonging to the Spatangoidea.
[ Of Celtic origin; confer Ir. speid
.] A river flood; an overflow or inundation. Burns.
Gareth in a showerful spring Tennyson.
Stared at the spate .
; plural Spathæ
. [ Latin ] (Botany) A spathe.