There are 2 main definitions of spray in English:

Share this entry

spray 1

Line breaks: spray


[mass noun]
1Liquid that is blown or driven through the air in the form of tiny drops: a torrent of white foam and spray [count noun]: a fine spray of mud
More example sentences
  • A fine spray of medicine in liquid form then shoots out the front at 520 miles per hour.
  • The white of the paper looks as though it has been pushed into the liquid spray of charcoal.
  • It sees storm clouds torn from their moorings and smashed against the ground with a minutely escalating, hissing swirl of arterial spray, then morphing into a jackhammer pulse.
shower, sprinkling, sprinkle, spritz, jet, mist, drizzle, droplets;
foam, froth
rare spoondrift
1.1A liquid preparation which can be forced out of a can or other container in tiny drops: a can of insect spray
More example sentences
  • Blood flows as easy as ant spray at the Tavern, but in a really squeamish, sickening way.
  • It also comes as a disinfectant spray and as a liquid cleaner.
  • Geisel, who had sold bug spray and motor oil through humor was the prefect recruit for this task.
1.2 [count noun] A can or container holding a spray.
Example sentences
  • They stock a comprehensive selection of acid-free items, from photograph albums and storage boxes to deacidification sprays.
  • So basically, if this one goes into deployment, what you're going to have is a bunch of soldiers with a whole load of bees in a jar and a little spray.
  • In addition to sprays, dust bags can be used for lice control.
1.3 [count noun] An act of spraying something: refresh your flowers with a quick spray
More example sentences
  • They used a barrel washer to remove most of the soil from their carrots, followed by a power washer spray as a final rinse.
  • However, most calculations can be done once per year; there is no need to recalculate for every spray.
  • A high-tech car wash (all spray, no brush) aims to become the Starbucks of drive through suds.


[with object and adverbial of direction] Back to top  
1Apply (liquid) to someone or something in the form of tiny drops: the product can be sprayed on to wet or dry hair
More example sentences
  • It was just jiggled and had water being sprayed on it for rain.
  • He sprays a huge water gun at dead pigs, to dissolve their blood clots.
  • In comparison to spraying water only, all drift retardants tested reduced volume of portion of small droplets in the spray but at varying magnitudes.
1.1 [with object] Sprinkle or cover with tiny drops of liquid: she sprayed herself with perfume
More example sentences
  • He intermixes shots of neon-lit signs with glossy images of models blithely spraying themselves with perfume.
  • Standing on a chair, fully dressed, he sprayed his head and upper body with shaving lather, dowsed himself with rice, and then plunged into a washtub.
  • Scott had not warned the cast what would happen when the creature burst from John Hurt's chest - that they would all be sprayed with pig's blood - because he wanted their reactions to be real.
1.2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of liquid) be driven through the air or forced out of something in tiny drops: water sprayed into the air
More example sentences
  • The water domes were to make musical sounds as the water sprayed.
  • Damage ensues, with water leaking in and spraying about.
  • There are no punters, just about a dozen staff circulating amiably: spraying, wiping, tightening, bantering.
1.3 [with object] Scatter (something) somewhere with great force: the truck shuddered to a halt, spraying gravel from under its wheels
More example sentences
  • Everything went on as it had, emotions scattered, crews sprayed turf onto embankments, lights went off remotely.
  • In the next lot, the Audi TT sprayed two white jets of nitrous oxide out of vents just below its headlights.
  • Four abject stereotypes with guns chase him down corridors, spraying bullets and whooping with redneck glee.
1.4 [with object] (Of a male cat) direct a stream of urine over (an object or area) to mark a territory: cats usually spray areas they have sprayed before [no object]: many people try to discourage their cats from spraying
1.5 [with object] (In sport) kick, hit, or throw (the ball) in an unpredictable way: he began his round by spraying his fairway shots


Example sentences
  • Some fungicides have been applied to barley on the few recent sprayable days but many are still waiting.
  • Variations of thermal-spray techniques and the diversity of sprayable materials have created new opportunities for the thermal-spray industry.
  • Cement-based overlays on the market today include sprayable microtoppings, and trowelable, stampable, and self-leveling materials - each providing different decorative effects.
Pronunciation: /ˈspreɪə/
Example sentences
  • Since extended range nozzles have an excellent spray distribution over a wide range of pressures, they can be used on sprayers equipped with flow controllers.
  • Air-blast sprayers, which are commonly used to apply insecticides and fungicides in orchards, produce a relatively high number of small droplets.
  • And I've climbed on dozens of tractors, sprayers, fertilizer applicators, and ATVs equipped with high-tech gadgets.


Early 17th century (earlier as spry): related to Middle Dutch spra(e)yen 'sprinkle'.

Words that rhyme with spray

affray, agley, aka, allay, Angers, A-OK, appellation contrôlée, array, assay, astray, au fait, auto-da-fé, away, aweigh, aye, bay, belay, betray, bey, Bombay, Bordet, boulevardier, bouquet, brae, bray, café au lait, Carné, cassoulet, Cathay, chassé, chevet, chez, chiné, clay, convey, Cray, crème brûlée, crudités, cuvée, cy-pres, day, decay, deejay, dégagé, distinguée, downplay, dray, Dufay, Dushanbe, eh, embay, engagé, essay, everyday, faraway, fay, fey, flay, fray, Frey, fromage frais, gainsay, Gaye, Genet, giclee, gilet, glissé, gray, grey, halfway, hay, heigh, hey, hooray, Hubei, Hué, hurray, inveigh, jay, jeunesse dorée, José, Kay, Kaye, Klee, Kray, Lae, lay, lei, Littré, Lough Neagh, lwei, Mae, maguey, Malay, Mallarmé, Mandalay, Marseilles, may, midday, midway, mislay, misplay, Monterrey, Na-Dene, nay, né, née, neigh, Ney, noway, obey, O'Dea, okay, olé, outlay, outplay, outstay, outweigh, oyez, part-way, pay, Pei, per se, pince-nez, play, portray, pray, prey, purvey, qua, Quai d'Orsay, Rae, rangé, ray, re, reflet, relevé, roman-à-clef, Santa Fé, say, sei, Shar Pei, shay, slay, sleigh, sley, spae, spay, Spey, splay, stay, straightaway, straightway, strathspey, stray, Sui, survey, sway, Taipei, Tay, they, today, tokay, Torbay, Tournai, trait, tray, trey, two-way, ukiyo-e, underlay, way, waylay, Wei, weigh, wey, Whangarei, whey, yea
Definition of spray in:
Share this entry

There are 2 main definitions of spray in English:

Share this entry
spray 2 Line breaks: spray


1A stem or small branch of a tree or plant, bearing flowers and foliage: a spray of honeysuckle
More example sentences
  • At the end of that painting, she thought it needed a spray of leaves going up one side, the right side of the picture.
  • In the watercolor and gouache of Joel with Roses, a spray of ripe blooms nearly fills the picture.
sprig, small stem, twig, branch
rare branchlet
1.1A bunch of cut flowers arranged in an attractive way: a spray of yellow chrysanthemums and red roses
More example sentences
  • The body of the guglet is also scattered with floral bouquets and sprays and its pouring rim is banded with acanthus scrolls.
1.2A brooch in the form of a bouquet of flowers: [as modifier]: a diamond and emerald spray brooch


Middle English: representing late Old English (e)sprei, recorded in personal and place names, of unknown origin.

Definition of spray in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources