n. & v.
n. 1 water or other liquid flying in small drops from the force of the wind, the dashing of waves, or the action of an atomizer etc. 2 a liquid preparation to be applied in this form with an atomizer etc., esp. for medical purposes. 3 an instrument or apparatus for such application.
v.tr. (also absol.) 1 throw (liquid) in the form of spray. 2 sprinkle (an object) with small drops or particles, esp. (a plant) with an insecticide. 3 (absol.) (of a tom-cat) mark its environment with the smell of its urine, as an attraction to females. spray-dry (-dries, -dried) dry (milk etc.) by spraying into hot air etc. spray-gun a gunlike device for spraying paint etc. spray-paint paint (a surface) by means of a spray. sprayable adj. sprayer n.
[ earlier spry, perh. rel. to MDu. spra(e)yen, MHG sprjen sprinkle ]