A sprout is a small growth on a plant — a little new bud. Other things can sprout too: kids are constantly sprouting (growing).

The key thing to think of when you're trying to remember the meaning of sprout is growth — as a noun, a sprout is a new growth of a plant, and as a verb, to sprout means to grow. Sprouting mainly applies to height and to the young, whether you're talking about plants, people, or things. An older person who gains fifty pounds is growing but not sprouting.

Definitions of sprout

v produce buds, branches, or germinate

“the potatoes sprouted
bourgeon, burgeon forth, germinate, pullulate, shoot, spud
cause to grow or sprout
Type of:
increase in size by natural process

v put forth and grow sprouts or shoots

“the plant sprouted early this year”
Type of:
acquire, develop, get, grow, produce
come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)

n a newly grown bud (especially from a germinating seed)

bean sprout
any of various sprouted beans: especially mung beans or lentils or edible soybeans
alfalfa sprout
sprouted alfalfa seeds
Type of:
green, greens, leafy vegetable
any of various leafy plants or their leaves and stems eaten as vegetables

n any new growth of a plant such as a new branch or a bud

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a new branch
a swelling on a plant stem consisting of overlapping immature leaves or petals
a shoot arising from a plant's roots
a shoot that sprouts from the base of a grass
leaf bud
a bud from which leaves (but not flowers) develop
flower bud
a bud from which only a flower or flowers develop
mixed bud
a bud yielding both leaves and flowers
Type of:
plant organ
a functional and structural unit of a plant or fungus