/ spreɪ; NAmE / noun , verb
[ U , C ] very small drops of a liquid that are sent through the air, for example by the wind :
A cloud of fine spray came up from the waterfall.
( figurative )
a spray of machine-gun bullets
[ U , C ] (especially in compounds) a substance that is forced out of a container such as an aerosol , in very small drops :
a can of insect spray (= used to kill insects)
—see also hairspray
[ C ] a device or container, for example an aerosol , that you use to apply liquid in fine drops :
a throat spray
[ C ] an act of applying liquid to sth in very small drops :
I gave the plants a quick spray.
[ C ] a small branch of a tree or plant, with its leaves and flowers or berries , that you use for decoration
[ C ] an attractive arrangement of flowers or jewellery, that you wear :
a spray of orchids
spray sth (on / onto / over sb/sth) | spray sb/sth (with sth) to cover sb/sth with very small drops of a liquid that are forced out of a container or sent through the air :
[ vn ]
Spray the conditioner onto your wet hair.
The crops are regularly sprayed with pesticide.
[ vn - adj ]
She's had the car sprayed blue.
[ v ]
Champagne sprayed everywhere.
spray sb/sth (with sth) to cover sb/sth with a lot of small things with a lot of force :
[ vn ]
The gunman sprayed the building with bullets.
[ v ]
Pieces of glass sprayed all over the room.
[ v ] ( especially of a male cat ) to leave small amounts of urine to mark its own area
noun senses 1 to 4 and verb early 17th cent. (earlier as spry ): related to Middle Dutch spra(e)yen sprinkle.
noun senses 5 to 6 Middle English : representing late Old English (e)sprei , recorded in personal and place names, of unknown origin.