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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sprit \Sprit\ (spr[i^]t), v. t. [Akin to G. spritzen, spr["u]tzen. See Sprit, v. i.] To throw out with force from a narrow orifice; to eject; to spurt out. [Obs.]
--Sir T. Browne.


Sprit \Sprit\, v. i. [AS. spryttan to sprout, bud. See Sprout, v. i., and cf. Spurt, v. t., Sprit a spar.] To sprout; to bud; to germinate, as barley steeped for malt.


Sprit \Sprit\, n. A shoot; a sprout. [Obs.]


Sprit \Sprit\, n. [OE. spret, AS. spre['o]t a sprit; spear; akin to D. spriet, and E. sprout, sprit, v.t. & i. See Sprout, v. i.] (Naut.) A small boom, pole, or spar, which crosses the sail of a boat diagonally from the mast to the upper aftmost corner, which it is used to extend and elevate.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.


Etymology 1 n. 1 (context nautical English) A spar between mast and upper outer corner of a spritsail on sailing boats. 2 A shoot; a sprout. vb. To sprout; to bud; to germinate, as barley steeped for malt. Etymology 2

vb. To throw out with force from a narrow orifice; to eject; to spurt out.


n. a light spar that crosses a fore-and-aft sail diagonally

Usage examples of "sprit".

So large was the head that no common sprit could carry the strain of it in an ordinary breeze.

To this had been made fast a sprit guy: thus, the foot of the sail was held by the main-sheet, and the peak by the guy to the sprit.

Hogs resided with their neighbor, Joe Sprit, who lived several miles down the road.

Catharina, commandant of her soldiery, and has his arms flying at her sprit, beside Sta.

At such moments they drew away from her, for she was like a little monster ruled by the evil sprit within her.

Schreuder dragged himself upright and felt at once that the dreadful might of the gale had been broken by the sprit of land.

My leggings and t-shirt felt much more comfortable, and I washed my face in the bathroom sink, sprit zing on some Chanel 22, before going out to join my baby-sitter in the den.

As with the true living sprits that soared the mountains with Marion, it was time for them to leave.

The last of the bluewings that survived escaped into the trees, and the tree sprits darted away in pursuit.

With her fluid drawn-out lines, the spearlike sprit jutting from the thrusting clipper bow, and her flaring transom, the two-hundred-foot-long Nepenthe looked as if she were made of fine white china floating on a Delft sea.

When Jack Aubrey brought his ship into the fleet at the rendezvous south-east of Toulon she had three turns of twelve-inch cable frapped about her and a spare sprit sail, thick with tarred oakum, drawn under her bottom.

From the sprit sail yard he could see round the corner of the island.