1. The act or an instance of sprinting, especially a short race at top speed.
2. A burst of speed or activity.
v. sprint·ed, sprint·ing, sprints
To move rapidly or at top speed for a brief period, as in running or swimming.
To move over (a distance) rapidly or at top speed for a brief period: sprinted the last 100 yards to the finish line.
[Possibly alteration of Middle English sprenten, to spring up, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish dialectal sprinta and Old Norse spretta, to jump.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.