I. spray 1 S3 /spreɪ/ BrE AmE verb
1 . [transitive] to force liquid out of a container so that it comes out in a stream of very small drops and covers an area ⇨ squirt
spray somebody/something with something
She sprayed herself with perfume.
spray something on/onto/over something
Someone had sprayed blue paint over his car.
Vandals had sprayed graffiti on the walls.
spray crops/plants etc (=cover them with liquid to protect them from insects or disease)
The fruit is sprayed every four weeks.
2 . [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if liquids or small bits spray somewhere, they are quickly scattered through the air
Champagne sprayed from the bottle.
3 . spray somebody/something with bullets to shoot a lot of bullets towards a person or place very quickly:
Gunmen sprayed the crowd with bullets.
II. spray 2 BrE AmE noun
[ Sense 1-3, 6: Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: Perhaps from Middle Dutch sprayen 'to scatter small drops of liquid' ]
[ Sense 4-5: Date: 1200-1300 ; Origin: Perhaps from an unrecorded Old English spræg ]
1 . LIQUID FROM A CONTAINER [uncountable and countable] liquid which is forced out of a special container in a stream of very small drops:
a new hair styling spray
Most farmers use pesticide sprays.
2 . CONTAINER [countable] a container which forces liquid out in a stream of small drops:
Mary took a perfume spray from her handbag.
3 . MOVING LIQUID
a) [uncountable] water in very small drops that is blown from the sea etc or sent up by vehicles on a wet road:
spray from the waves
My face was stinging from the salt spray.
b) [countable] liquid that comes quickly from somewhere in very small drops
A spray of blood came from his mouth.
4 . BRANCH [countable] a small branch or stem with leaves or flowers on it, used for decoration SYN sprig
a spray of holly
5 . FLOWERS [countable] an attractive arrangement of flowers or leaves
a spray of violets and primroses
6 . a spray of bullets/gravel etc a lot of bullets or very small objects moving quickly through the air