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[sprint] /sprɪnt/
verb (used without object)
to race or move at full speed, especially for a short distance, as in running, rowing, etc.
verb (used with object)
to traverse in sprinting:
to sprint a half mile.
a short race at full speed.
a burst of speed at any point during a long race, as near the finish line.
a brief spell of great activity.
Origin of sprint
1560-70; perhaps continuing Old English *sprintan (compare gesprintan to emit); cognate with Old Norse spretta, Old High German sprinzan to jump up
Related forms
sprinter, noun
outsprint, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sprint
  • Regardless of who wins this sprint, the next race--to make sense of the genome--will be a marathon with many runners.
  • When the moment is right a cheetah will sprint after its quarry and attempt to knock it down.
  • However, running at this speed requires a lot of energy, and the cheetah cannot keep up a sprint for long.
  • The last days of the journey became a sprint for the pole as both food and fuel began to run low.
  • The new multinationals have some distinct advantages in their sprint to the fore of global business.
  • With so many spare resources available, the recovery could sprint ahead for several years without inflation taking off.
  • sprint is currently the only carrier to offer an unlimited data plan.
  • The demands of a one-mile sprint from a standing start are quite different than road racing or hill climbing.
  • The mobs would congregate and sprint to one area, then retreat and run in another direction.
  • The sprint is for men and for women the distance is skied over three laps.
British Dictionary definitions for sprint


(athletics) a short race run at top speed, such as the 100 metres
a fast finishing speed at the end of a longer race, as in running or cycling, etc
any quick run
verb (intransitive)
to go at top speed, as in running, cycling, etc
Derived Forms
sprinter, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Scandinavian; related to Old English gesprintan to emit, Old Norse spretta to jump up, Old High German sprinzan to jump up, Swedish sprata to kick
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sprint

1560s, "to spring, dart," from Old Norse spretta "to jump up." Meaning "to run a short distance at full speed" first recorded 1871. Related: Sprinted; sprinting.


1865, from sprint (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sprint in Technology

List processing language involving stack operations. "SPRINT - A Direct Approach to List Processing Languages", C.A. Kapps, Proc SJCC 30 (1967). Sammet 1969, p 462.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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