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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.