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spurt

or spirt

[spurt] /spɜrt/
verb (used without object)
1.
to gush or issue suddenly in a stream or jet, as a liquid; spout.
2.
to show marked, usually increased, activity or energy for a short period:
The runners spurted forward in the last lap of the race.
verb (used with object)
3.
to expel or force out suddenly in a stream or jet, as a liquid; spout.
noun
4.
a sudden, forceful gush or jet.
5.
a marked increase of effort for a short period or distance, as in running, rowing, etc.
6.
a sudden burst or outburst, as of activity, energy, or feeling.
Origin of spurt
1560-1570
1560-70; variant of spirt; origin uncertain
Related forms
spurter, noun
spurtive, adjective
spurtively, adverb
outspurt, verb (used with object)
Synonyms
1. well, spring. See flow. 4. spout.
Antonyms
1. drip, ooze.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spurt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was the old story of volunteers, brave enough at a spurt, going to pieces in panic under hard and continued strain.

  • There was no outcry; simply a spurt of blood and brain, and all was over.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • But the sight of a fireplace and plenty of dry wood ready to flame up at the spurt of a match heartened them somewhat.

  • A spurt of laughter dies into a shiver of repugnance at the action.

  • When it was opposite the flag a spurt of flame came from the pistol of the man in it, and John actually laughed.

    The Forest of Swords Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Another bullet lifted a spurt of dust almost at his horse's feet.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • There was a great blaze, a spurt of smoke and a tremendous crash.

    The Texan Scouts Joseph A. Altsheler
  • A spurt of speed and Morgan was beside him, leaning over, demanding the gun.

    Trail's End George W. Ogden
British Dictionary definitions for spurt

spurt

/spɜːt/
verb
1.
to gush or cause to gush forth in a sudden stream or jet
2.
to make a sudden effort
noun
3.
a sudden forceful stream or jet
4.
a short burst of activity, speed, or energy
Word Origin
C16: perhaps related to Middle High German sprützen to squirt
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 spurt
v.

"to gush out, squirt," 1560s, variant of spirt, perhaps cognate with Middle High German spürzen "to spit," and sprützen "to squirt" (see sprout). The noun in this sense is attested from 1775.

n.

"brief burst of activity," 1560s, variant of spirt "brief period of time" (1540s), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow connected with spurt (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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