Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Sponsor noun [ Latin , from spondere , sponsum , to engage one's self. See Spose .]
1. One who binds himself to answer for another, and is responsible for his default; a surety.

2. One who at the baptism of an infant professes the Christian faith in its name, and guarantees its religious education; a godfather or godmother.

Sponsorial adjective Pertaining to a sponsor.

Sponsorship noun State of being a sponsor.

Spontaneity noun ; plural Spontaneities . [ Confer French spontanéité .]
1. The quality or state of being spontaneous, or acting from native feeling, proneness, or temperament, without constraint or external force.

Romney Leigh, who lives by diagrams,
And crosses not the spontaneities
Of all his individual, personal life
With formal universals.
Mrs. Browning.

2. (Biol.) (a) The tendency to undergo change, characteristic of both animal and vegetable organisms, and not restrained or cheked by the environment. (b) The tendency to activity of muscular tissue, including the voluntary muscles, when in a state of healthful vigor and refreshment.

Spontaneous adjective [ Latin spontaneus , from sponte of free will, voluntarily.]
1. Proceding from natural feeling, temperament, or disposition, or from a native internal proneness, readiness, or tendency, without constraint; as, a spontaneous gift or proportion.

2. Proceeding from, or acting by, internal impulse, energy, or natural law, without external force; as, spontaneous motion; spontaneous growth.

3. Produced without being planted, or without human labor; as, a spontaneous growth of wood.

Spontaneous combustion , combustion produced in a substance by the evolution of heat through the chemical action of its own elements; as, the spontaneous combustion of waste matter saturated with oil. -- Spontaneous generation . (Biol.) See under Generation .

Syn. -- Voluntary; uncompelled; willing. -- Spontaneous , Voluntary . What is voluntary is the result of a volition , or act of choice; it therefore implies some degree of consideration, and may be the result of mere reason without excited feeling. What is spontaneous springs wholly from feeling, or a sudden impulse which admits of no reflection; as, a spontaneous burst of applause. Hence, the term is also applied to things inanimate when they are produced without the determinate purpose or care of man. "Abstinence which is but voluntary fasting, and . . . exercise which is but voluntary labor." J. Seed.

Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play,
The soul adopts, and owns their firstborn away.
Goldsmith.

-- Spon*ta"ne*ous*ly , adverb -- Spon*ta"ne*ous*ness , noun

Spontoon noun [ French sponton , esponton , it. spontone , spuntone .] (Mil.) A kind of half-pike, or halberd, formerly borne by inferior officers of the British infantry, and used in giving signals to the soldiers.

Spook noun [ Dutch spook ; akin to German spuk , Swedish spöke , Danish spögelse a specter, spöge to play, sport, joke, spög a play, joke.]
1. A spirit; a ghost; an apparition; a hobgoblin. [ Written also spuke .] Ld. Lytton.

2. (Zoology) The chimæra.

Spool noun [ Middle English spole , OD. spoele , Dutch spoel ; akin to German spule , OHG . spuola , Dan. & Swedish spole .] A piece of cane or red with a knot at each end, or a hollow cylinder of wood with a ridge at each end, used to wind thread or yarn upon.

Spool stand , an article holding spools of thread, turning on pins, -- used by women at their work.

Spool transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Spooled ; present participle & verbal noun Spooling .] To wind on a spool or spools.

Spooler noun One who, or that which, spools.

Spoom intransitive verb [ Probably from spum foam. See Spume .] (Nautical) To be driven steadily and swiftly, as before a strong wind; to be driven before the wind without any sail, or with only a part of the sails spread; to scud under bare poles. [ Written also spoon .]

When virtue spooms before a prosperous gale,
My heaving wishes help to fill the sail.
Dryden.

Spoon (spōn) intransitive verb (Nautical) See Spoom . [ Obsolete]

We might have spooned before the wind as well as they.
Pepys.

Spoon noun [ Middle English spon , Anglo-Saxon spōn , a chip; akin to Dutch spaan , German span , Danish spaan , Swedish spån , Icelandic spánn , spónn , a chip, a spoon. √170. Confer Span- new .]
1. An implement consisting of a small bowl (usually a shallow oval) with a handle, used especially in preparing or eating food.

"Therefore behoveth him a full long spoon
That shall eat with a fiend," thus heard I say.
Chaucer.

He must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.
Shak.

2. Anything which resembles a spoon in shape; esp. (Fishing) , a spoon bait.

3. Fig.: A simpleton; a spooney. [ Slang] Hood.

Spoon bait (Fishing) , a lure used in trolling, consisting of a glistening metallic plate shaped like the bowl of a spoon with a fishhook attached. -- Spoon bit , a bit for boring, hollowed or furrowed along one side. -- Spoon net , a net for landing fish. -- Spoon oar . see under Oar .

Spoon transitive verb To take up in, or as in, a spoon.

Spoon intransitive verb To act with demonstrative or foolish fondness, as one in love. [ Colloq.]

Spoon noun (Golf) A wooden club with a lofted face. Encyc. of Sport.

Spoon transitive verb
1. (Fishing) To catch by fishing with a spoon bait.

He had with him all the tackle necessary for spooning pike.
Mrs. Humphry Ward.

2. In croquet, golf, etc., to push or shove (a ball) with a lifting motion, instead of striking with an audible knock.

Spoon intransitive verb
1. To fish with a spoon bait.

2. In croquet, golf, etc., to spoon a ball.

Spoon-billed adjective (Zoology) Having the bill expanded and spatulate at the end.

Spoon-meat noun Food that is, or must be, taken with a spoon; liquid food. "Diet most upon spoon-meats ." Harvey.

Spoonbill noun (Zoology) (a) Any one of several species of wading birds of the genera Ajaja and Platalea , and allied genera, in which the long bill is broadly expanded and flattened at the tip.

» The roseate spoonbill of America ( Ajaja ajaja ), and the European spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) are the best known. The royal spoonbill ( P. regia ) of Australia is white, with the skin in front of the eyes naked and black. The male in the breeding season has a fine crest.

(b) The shoveler. See Shoveler , 2. (c) The ruddy duck. See under Ruddy . (d) The paddlefish.

Spoondrift noun [ Spoom + drift .] Spray blown from the tops waves during a gale at sea; also, snow driven in the wind at sea; -- written also spindrift .

Spooney adjective Weak-minded; demonstratively fond; as, spooney lovers. [ Spelt also spoony. ] [ Colloq.]

Spooney noun ; plural Spooneye A weak-minded or silly person; one who is foolishly fond. [ Colloq.]

There is no doubt, whatever, that I was a lackadaisical young spooney .
Dickens.

Spoonflower noun The yautia.

Spoonful noun ; plural Spoonfuls
1. The quantity which a spoon contains, or is able to contain; as, a tea spoonful ; a table spoonful .

2. Hence, a small quantity. Arbuthnot.

Spoonily adverb In a spoony manner.

Spoonwood noun (Botany) The mountain laurel ( Kalmia latifolia ).

Spoonworm noun (Zoology) A gephyrean worm of the genus Thalassema , having a spoonlike probiscis.

Spoonwort noun (Botany) Scurvy grass.

Spoony adjective & noun Same as Spooney .

Spoor noun [ Dutch spoor ; akin to Anglo-Saxon spor , German spur , and from the root of English spur . √171. See Spur .] The track or trail of any wild animal; as, the spoor of an elephant; -- used originally by travelers in South Africa.

Spoor intransitive verb To follow a spoor or trail. [ R.]

Sporades noun plural [ Latin , from Greek spora`des . Confer Sporadic .] (Astron.) Stars not included in any constellation; -- called also informed , or unformed , stars.

Sporadial adjective Sporadic. [ R.]

Sporadic adjective [ Greek ... scattered, from ..., ..., scattered, from ... to sow seed, to scatter like seed: confer French sporadique . See Spore .] Occuring singly, or apart from other things of the same kind, or in scattered instances; separate; single; as, a sporadic fireball; a sporadic case of disease; a sporadic example of a flower.

Sporadic disease (Medicine) , a disease which occurs in single and scattered cases. See the Note under Endemic , adjective

Sporadical adjective Sporadic.

Sporadically adverb In a sporadic manner.

Sporangiophore noun [ Sporangium + Greek ... to bear.] (Botany) The axis or receptacle in certain ferns (as Trichomanes ), which bears the sporangia.

Sporangium noun ; plural Sporangia . [ New Latin , from Greek ... a sowing, seed + ... a receptacle.] (Botany) A spore case in the cryptogamous plants, as in ferns, etc.

Spore noun [ Greek ... a sowing, seed, from ... to sow. Confer Sperm .]
1. (Botany) (a) One of the minute grains in flowerless plants, which are analogous to seeds, as serving to reproduce the species.

» Spores are produced differently in the different classes of cryptogamous plants, and as regards their nature are often so unlike that they have only their minuteness in common. The peculiar spores of diatoms (called auxospores ) increase in size, and at length acquire a siliceous coating, thus becoming new diatoms of full size. Compare Macrospore , Microspore , Oöspore , Restingspore , Sphærospore , Swarmspore , Tetraspore , Zoöspore , and Zygospore .

(b) An embryo sac or embryonal vesicle in the ovules of flowering plants.

2. (Biol.) (a) A minute grain or germ; a small, round or ovoid body, formed in certain organisms, and by germination giving rise to a new organism; as, the reproductive spores of bacteria, etc. (b) One of the parts formed by fission in certain Protozoa. See Spore formation , belw.

Spore formation . (a) (Biol) A mode of reproduction resembling multitude fission, common among Protozoa, in which the organism breaks up into a number of pieces, or spores, each of which eventually develops into an organism like the parent form. Balfour. (b) The formation of reproductive cells or spores, as in the growth of bacilli.

Sporid noun (Botany) A sporidium. Lindley.

Sporidiferous adjective [ Sporidium + -ferous .] (Botany) Bearing sporidia.

Sporidium noun ; plural Sporidia . [ New Latin See Spore .] (Botany) (a) A secondary spore, or a filament produced from a spore, in certain kinds of minute fungi. (b) A spore.

Sporiferous adjective [ Spore + -ferous .] (Biol.) Bearing or producing spores.

Sporification noun [ Spore + Latin -ficare (in comp.) to make. See -fy .] (Biol.) Spore formation. See Spore formation (b) , under Spore .

Sporocarp noun [ Spore + Greek ... fruit.] (Botany) (a) A closed body or conceptacle containing one or more masses of spores or sporangia. (b) A sporangium.

Sporocyst noun [ Greek ... seed + ... bladder.]
1. (Zoology) An asexual zooid, usually forming one of a series of larval forms in the agamic reproduction of various trematodes and other parasitic worms. The sporocyst generally develops from an egg, but in its turn produces other larvæ by internal budding, or by the subdivision of a part or all of its contents into a number of minute germs. See Redia .

2. (Zoology) Any protozoan when it becomes encysted produces germs by sporulation.

Sporogenesis noun [ Spore + genesis .] (Biol.) reproduction by spores.

Sporogony noun [ Spore + root of Greek ... to be born.] (Zoology) The growth or development of an animal or a zooid from a nonsexual germ.