v. sprout·ed, sprout·ing, sprouts
1. To begin to grow; give off shoots or buds.
2. To emerge and develop rapidly: businesses that sprouted along the highway.
To allow or cause to come forth and grow: He sprouted a mustache.
1. Young plant growth, such as a bud or shoot.
2. Something resembling or suggestive of a sprout, as in rapid growth: "a tall blond sprout of a boy" (Anne Tyler).
a. The young shoots of plants such as alfalfa and soybean, usually eaten raw.
b. Brussels sprouts.
[Middle English spruten, from Old English -sprūtan (in āsprūtan, to sprout forth); see sper- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus