spread-eagle (n.) Look up spread-eagle at Dictionary.com
literally "splayed eagle," 1560s, a heraldic term, from past participle adjective of spread (v.). Common on signs, flags, etc; the colloquial term was from split crow. The figure is on the seal of the United States (hence spreadeagleism "extravagant laudation of the U.S.," 1858). Meaning "person secured with arms and legs stretched out" (originally to be flogged) is attested from 1785.
spreadable (adj.) Look up spreadable at Dictionary.com
1940, from spread (v.) + -able.
spreader (n.) Look up spreader at Dictionary.com
late 15c., agent noun from spread (v.).
spreadsheet (n.) Look up spreadsheet at Dictionary.com
1965, from spread (n.) + sheet (n.).
spree (n.) Look up spree at Dictionary.com
"a frolic, drinking bout," 1804, slang, earliest use in Scottish dialect works, of uncertain origin. Perhaps [Barnhart] an alteration of French esprit "lively wit" (see esprit). According to Klein, Irish spre seems to be a loan-word from Old Norse sprakr. Watkins proposes a possible origin as an alteration of Scots spreath "cattle raid," from Gaelic sprédh, spré, "cattle; wealth," from Middle Irish preit, preid, "booty," ultimately from Latin praeda "plunder, booty" (see prey (n.)).
The splore is a frolic, a merry meeting. In the slang language of the inhabitants of St Giles's, in London, it is called a spree or a go. [Note in "Select Scottish Songs, Ancient and Modern," vol. II, London, 1810]
In Foote's comedy "The Maid of Bath" (1794) the word appears as a Scottish dialect pronunciation of spry: " 'When I intermarried with Sir Launcelot Coldstream, I was en siek a spree lass as yoursel; and the baronet bordering upon his grand climacteric;' " etc.
sprig (n.) Look up sprig at Dictionary.com
"shoot, twig or spray of a plant, shrub," c.1400, probably related to Old English spræc "shoot, twig," of obscure origin.
spright (n.) Look up spright at Dictionary.com
alternative form of sprite.
sprightly (adj.) Look up sprightly at Dictionary.com
1590s, from spright, an early 16c. variant of sprite, + -ly (1). Related: Sprightliness.
spring (v.) Look up spring at Dictionary.com
Old English springan "to leap, burst forth, fly up; spread, grow," (class III strong verb; past tense sprang, past participle sprungen), from Proto-Germanic *sprengan (cognates: Old Norse, Old Frisian springa, Middle Dutch springhen, Dutch Related: springen, Old Saxon and Old High German springan, German springen), from PIE *sprengh-, nasalized form of root *spergh- "to move, hasten, spring" (cognates: Sanskrit sprhayati "desires eagerly," Greek sperkhesthai "to hurry").

In Middle English, it took on the role of causal sprenge, from Old English sprengan (as still in to spring a trap, etc.). Meaning "to cause to work or open," by or as by a spring mechanism, is from 1828.Meaning "to announce suddenly" (usually with on) is from 1876. Meaning "to release" (from imprisonment) is from 1900. Slang meaning "to pay" (for a treat, etc.) is recorded from 1906.
spring (n.1) Look up spring at Dictionary.com
season following winter, the vernal season, c.1400, earlier springing time (late 14c.), which replaced Lent, the Old English word. From spring (v.); also see spring (n.3). The notion is of the "spring of the year," when plants begin to rise (as in spring of the leaf, 1520s), from the noun in its old sense of "action or time of rising or springing into existence." It was used of sunrise, the waxing of the moon, rising tides, etc.; compare 14c. spring of dai "sunrise," spring of mone "moonrise," late Old English spring "carbuncle, pustule."

Other Germanic languages tend to take words for "fore" or "early" as their roots for the season name (Danish voraar, Dutch voorjaar, literally "fore-year;" German Frühling, from Middle High German vrueje "early"). In 15c. English, the season also was prime-temps, after Old French prin tans, tamps prim (French printemps, which replaced primevère 16c. as the common word for spring), from Latin tempus primum, literally "first time, first season."

Spring fever is from 1843 as "surge of romantic feelings;" earlier of a type of disease or head-cold prevalent in certain places in spring; Old English had lenctenadle. First record of spring cleaning in the domestic sense is by 1843 (in ancient Persia, the first month, corresponding to March-April, was Adukanaiša, which apparently means "Irrigation-Canal-Cleaning Month;" Kent, p.167). Spring chicken "small roasting chicken" (usually 11 to 14 weeks) is recorded from 1780; transferred sense of "young person" first recorded 1906. Baseball spring training attested by 1889, earlier of militias, etc.
spring (n.2) Look up spring at Dictionary.com
"source of a stream or river, flow of water rising to the surface of the earth from below," Old English spring "spring, source, sprinkling," from spring (v.) on the notion of the water "bursting forth" from the ground. Rarely used alone in Old English, appearing more often in compounds, such as wyllspring "wellspring," espryng "water spring." Figurative sense of "source or origin of something" is attested from early 13c. Cognate with Old High German sprung "source of water," Middle High German sprinc "leap, jump; source of water."
spring (n.3) Look up spring at Dictionary.com
"act of springing or leaping," late 14c., from spring (v.). The elastic wire coil that returns to its shape when stretched is so called from early 15c., originally in clocks and watches. As a device in carriages, coaches, etc., it is attested from 1660s.
spring-house (n.) Look up spring-house at Dictionary.com
also springhouse, 1762, from spring (n.2) + house (n.).
springboard (n.) Look up springboard at Dictionary.com
also spring-board, 1799, from spring (v.) + board (n.1).
springbok (n.) Look up springbok at Dictionary.com
South African gazelle, 1775, from Afrikaans, from springen "to leap" (from Middle Dutch springhen, see spring (v.)) + bok "antelope," from Middle Dutch boc (see buck (n.1)).
springer (n.) Look up springer at Dictionary.com
"one who or that which leaps," mid-14c. (late 12c. as a surname), agent noun from spring (v.). As a type of spaniel, 1808, so called from being used originally to rouse (that is, to "spring") game.
Springfield Look up Springfield at Dictionary.com
type of firearm, 1813, named for the U.S. government armory in Springfield, Mass.
springtime (n.) Look up springtime at Dictionary.com
also spring-time, late 15c., from spring (n.1) + time (n.).
springy (adj.) Look up springy at Dictionary.com
"elastic," 1650s, from spring (v.) + -y (2). Related: Springiness.
sprinkle (v.) Look up sprinkle at Dictionary.com
late 14c. (implied in sprinkled), frequentative of sprenge (see spring (v.)) or via Middle Dutch, Middle Low German sprenkel "spot, speck," from PIE root *(s)preg- "to jerk, scatter" (cognates: Latin spargere "to scatter, sprinkle"). The meaning "rain lightly" is first recorded 1778.
sprinkler (n.) Look up sprinkler at Dictionary.com
1530s, agent noun from sprinkle (v.).
sprinkling (n.) Look up sprinkling at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "act of sprinkling," verbal noun from sprinkle (v.). Meaning "small amount" is from 1590s.
sprint (v.) Look up sprint at Dictionary.com
1560s, "to spring, dart," probably an alteration of sprenten "to leap, spring" (early 14c.), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse spretta "to jump up" (cognate with Swedish spritta "to start, startle"). Meaning "to run a short distance at full speed" first recorded 1871. Related: Sprinted; sprinting.
sprint (n.) Look up sprint at Dictionary.com
"short burst of running, etc.," 1865, from sprint (v.).
sprinter (n.) Look up sprinter at Dictionary.com
1871, agent noun from sprint (v.).
sprit (n.) Look up sprit at Dictionary.com
Old English spreot "pole, pike, spear," originally "a sprout, shoot, branch," from Proto-Germanic *sprut- (see sprout (v.)). Cognate with Middle Dutch spriet, Middle Low German spryet, German Spriet, North Frisian sprit. Restricted nautical sense of "diagonal spar from a mast" is from 14c. Related: Spritsail.
sprite (n.) Look up sprite at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "Holy Ghost," from Old French esprit "spirit," from Latin spiritus (see spirit (n.)). From mid-14c. as "immaterial being; angel, demon, elf, fairy; apparition, ghost."
spritz (v.) Look up spritz at Dictionary.com
1917, from Yiddish or directly from German spritzen "to squirt," from Middle High German sprützen "to squirt, sprout," from Proto-Germanic *sprut- (see sprout (v.)). Spritzer "glass of wine mixed with carbonated water" is from 1961.
sprocket (n.) Look up sprocket at Dictionary.com
1530s, originally a carpenters' word for a piece of timber used in framing, of unknown origin. The meaning "projection from the rim of a wheel that engages the links of a chain" is first recorded 1750.
sprout (v.) Look up sprout at Dictionary.com
Old English -sprutan (in asprutan "to sprout"), from Proto-Germanic *sprut- (cognates: Old Saxon sprutan, Old Frisian spruta, Middle Dutch spruten, Old High German spriozan, German sprießen "to sprout"), from PIE *spreud-, extended form of root *sper- (4) "to strew" (cognates: Greek speirein "to scatter," spora "a scattering, sowing," sperma "sperm, seed," literally "that which is scattered;" Old English spreawlian "to sprawl," -sprædan "to spread," spreot "pole;" Armenian sprem "scatter;" Old Lithuanian sprainas "staring, opening wide one's eyes;" Lettish spriežu "I span, I measure"). Related: Sprouted; sprouting.
sprout (n.) Look up sprout at Dictionary.com
"shoot of a plant, sprout; a twig," Old English sprota, from the verb (see sprout (v.)). Cognate with Middle Dutch spruyte, Dutch spruite "a sprout," Old Norse sproti, German Sproß.
spruce (n.) Look up spruce at Dictionary.com
1660s, "evergreen tree, fir," from spruse (adj.) "made of spruce wood" (early 15c.), literally "from Prussia," from Spruce, Sprws (late 14c.), unexplained alterations of Pruce "Prussia," from an Old French form of Prussia.

Spruce seems to have been a generic term for commodities brought to England by Hanseatic merchants (especially beer, boards and wooden chests, and leather), and the tree thus was believed to be particular to Prussia, which for a time was figurative in England as a land of luxuries. Compare spruce (adj.).

As a distinct species of evergreen tree from 1731. Nearly all pines have long, soft needles growing in groups of two (Scotch) to five (white); spruce and fir needles grow singly. Spruce needles are squarish and sharp; fir needles are short and flat. Cones of the fir stand upright; cones of a spruce hang before falling.
spruce (v.) Look up spruce at Dictionary.com
"to make trim or neat," 1590s, from spruce (adj.). Related: Spruced; sprucing.
spruce (adj.) Look up spruce at Dictionary.com
"neat, smart in dress and appearance, dapper, brisk," 1580s, from spruce leather (mid-15c.; see spruce (n.)), a type of leather imported from Prussia in the 1400s and 1500s which was used in England to make a popular style of jerkin that was considered smart-looking.
sprucify (v.) Look up sprucify at Dictionary.com
1610s, from spruce (adj.) + -ify. Related: Sprucified.
sprue (n.) Look up sprue at Dictionary.com
"piece of metal (later plastic) attached to a cast object," 1875, earlier (1849) "channel through which metal is poured into a mold;" of unknown origin.
spruik (v.) Look up spruik at Dictionary.com
1916, Australia and New Zealand slang, of unknown origin.
sprung Look up sprung at Dictionary.com
past participle of spring (v.).
spry (adj.) Look up spry at Dictionary.com
1746, "active, nimble, vigorous, lively," dialectal, perhaps a shortening and alteration of sprightly [Barnhart], or from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse sprækr, dialectal Swedish sprygg "brisk, active"), from Proto-Germanic *sprek-, from PIE root *(s)preg- (2) "to jerk, scatter" (see sparse).
spud (n.) Look up spud at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "small or poor knife," of uncertain origin probably related to Danish spyd, Old Norse spjot "spear," German Spiess "spear, lance"). Meaning "spade" is from 1660s; sense of "short or stumpy person or thing" is from 1680s; that of "potato" is first recorded 1845 in New Zealand English.
spue (v.) Look up spue at Dictionary.com
variant of spew (v.).
spumante (n.) Look up spumante at Dictionary.com
sparkling white wine from Asti in Piedmont, 1908, from Italian spumante, literally "sparkling," from spuma "foam, froth" (see spume).
spume (n.) Look up spume at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French spume, from Latin spuma "foam" (also source of Italian spuma, Spanish espuma); cognate with Old English fam, Old High German veim "foam" (see foam (n.)).
spumescent (adj.) Look up spumescent at Dictionary.com
"foaming, frothing," 1856, from Latin spumescentem (nominative spumescens), present participle of spumescere "grow frothy," from spuma (see spume) + inchoative suffix -escere.
spumoni (n.) Look up spumoni at Dictionary.com
kind of ice cream dessert, 1929, from Italian spumone (singular), spumoni (plural), from spuma "foam" (see spume).
spun Look up spun at Dictionary.com
past participle of spin (v.).
spunk (n.) Look up spunk at Dictionary.com
1530s, "a spark," Scottish, from Gaelic spong "tinder, pith, sponge," from Latin spongia (see sponge (n.)). The sense of "courage, pluck, mettle" is first attested 1773. A similar sense evolution took place in cognate Irish sponnc "sponge, tinder, spark; courage, spunk." Vulgar slang sense of "seminal fluid" is recorded from c.1888.
spunky (adj.) Look up spunky at Dictionary.com
"courageous, spirited," 1786, from spunk (n.) + -y (2). Related: Spunkily; spunkiness.
spur (n.) Look up spur at Dictionary.com
Old English spura, spora "metal implement worn on the heel to goad a horse" (related to spurnan "to kick"), from Proto-Germanic *spuron (cognates: Old Norse spori, Middle Dutch spore, Dutch spoor, Old High German sporo, German Sporn "spur"), from PIE *spere- "ankle" (see spurn). Related to Dutch spoor, Old English spor "track, footprint, trace."

Generalized sense of "anything that urges on, stimulus," is from late 14c. As a sharp projection on the leg of a cock, from 1540s. Meaning "a ridge projecting off a mountain mass" is recorded from 1650s. Of railway lines from 1837. "Widely extended senses ... are characteristic of a horsey race" [Weekley]. Expression on the spur of the moment (1801) preserves archaic phrase on the spur "in great haste" (1520s). To win one's spurs is to gain knighthood by some valorous act, gilded spurs being the distinctive mark of a knight.
spur (v.) Look up spur at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from spur (n.). Figurative use from c.1500. Related: Spurred; spurring. Old English had spyrian, but it meant "follow the track of, track down, investigate."