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[spurt] /spɜrt/
verb (used without object)
to gush or issue suddenly in a stream or jet, as a liquid; spout.
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)
to expel or force out suddenly in a stream or jet, as a liquid; spout.
a sudden, forceful gush or jet.
a marked increase of effort for a short period or distance, as in running, rowing, etc.
a sudden burst or outburst, as of activity, energy, or feeling.
Also, spirt.
1560-70; variant of spirt; origin uncertain
Related forms
spurter, noun
spurtive, adjective
spurtively, adverb
outspurt, verb (used with object)
1. well, spring. See flow. 4. spout.
1. drip, ooze. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for spurts
  • There have been spurts of growth before, especially when commodity prices have risen sharply.
  • Although credible plans to curb deficits are helpful to medium-term growth, they are unlikely to explain sudden spurts.
  • But real change needs something deeper than quick spurts of growth.
  • Since then, both economies have seen spurts of growth.
  • Periods of depression and inaction alternate with spurts of partisan mania that bring the government to the edge of shutdown.
  • He didn't employ a consistent methodology, rating in spurts and usually while searching for something to watch.
  • The former is a creature of spurts and unevenness, clattering from gag to gag, set piece to set piece.
  • In addition to these two growth spurts, the researchers suggest, olfaction led to a third set of changes in the mammal brain.
  • Kids younger than five or six tend to watch media in short spurts, rather than processing entire stories.
  • Most kids' experience with running have only been in spurts.
British Dictionary definitions for spurts


to gush or cause to gush forth in a sudden stream or jet
to make a sudden effort
a sudden forceful stream or jet
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 spurts
"to gush out, squirt," 1570, variant of spirt, perhaps cognate with M.H.G. spürzen "to spit," and sprützen "to squirt" (see sprout). The noun in this sense is attested from 1775.
"brief burst of activity," 1566, variant of spirt "brief period of time" (1550), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow connected with spurt (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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