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spark

  

      n  
1    flare, flash, flicker, gleam, glint, scintillation, spit  
2    atom, hint, jot, scintilla, scrap, trace, vestige  
      vb  
3      (often with)       off   animate, excite, inspire, kick-start, kindle, precipitate, prod, provoke, rouse, set in motion, set off, start, stimulate, stir, touch off, trigger (off)  
English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  
Collins

spark

  
  ( sparks    plural & 3rd person present)   ( sparking    present participle)   ( sparked    past tense & past participle  )
1       n-count   A spark is a tiny bright piece of burning material that flies up from something that is burning.  
The fire gradually got bigger and bigger. Sparks flew off in all directions.     
2       n-count   A spark is a flash of light caused by electricity. It often makes a loud sound.  
He passed an electric spark through a mixture of gases.     
3       verb   If something sparks, sparks of fire or light come from it.  
The wires were sparking above me...      V  
I stared into the flames of the fire as it sparked to life.      V prep  
4       verb   If a burning object or electricity sparks a fire, it causes a fire.   (=start)  
A dropped cigarette may have sparked the fire.      V n  
5       n-count   A spark of a quality or feeling, especially a desirable one, is a small but noticeable amount of it.  
N of n  
His music lacked that vital spark of imagination...     
6       verb   If one thing sparks another, the first thing causes the second thing to start happening.   (=cause)  
What was it that sparked your interest in motoring?      V n  
...a row sparked by a comment about his sister.      V-ed  
      Spark off means the same as spark., phrasal verb  
That incident sparked it off...      V n P  
His book, Animal Liberation, sparked off a revolution in the way we think about animals.      V P n (not pron)  
7   
    bright spark  
8    If sparks fly between people, they discuss something in an excited or angry way.  
sparks fly      phrase   V inflects  
They are not afraid to tackle the issues or let the sparks fly when necessary.      spark off  
    spark 6  


bright spark        ( bright sparks    plural  ) If you say that some bright spark had a particular idea or did something, you mean that their idea or action was clever, or that it seemed clever but was silly in some way.  
  (BRIT)  
INFORMAL      n-count  
`Why not give out one of the cybercafe's e-mail addresses?' suggested one bright spark..., Some bright spark turned the heating off last night!     
spark plug        ( spark plugs    plural  ) A spark plug is a device in the engine of a motor vehicle, which produces electric sparks to make the petrol burn.      n-count  

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See also:

spar, sparkle, spare, spank

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