Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb spray pronunciation in British English /spreɪ/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlespraying
past tensesprayed
past participlesprayed
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if you spray a liquid, or if it sprays, it is forced out of a container through a small hole into the air

    The fountain’s cool water sprayed upwards with a pleasant hiss.

    Mansell stood on the podium and sprayed champagne into the air.

    spray someone/something with something:

    I caught the kids next door spraying my dog with cold water!

    spray something on/onto/over something:

    The chemical is sprayed onto the roof to weatherproof it.

    1. a.
      to cover crops or a large area of land with a chemical spray in order to kill insects or to prevent diseases

      Health officials have sprayed the areas where the virus was active.

      Farmers have to apply for permits to spray from the air.

      spray for:

      They’re spraying for mosquitoes this weekend.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to shoot a large number of bullets at something, covering a wide area
    spray someone/something with something:

    The men sprayed the vehicle with automatic gunfire.


… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog