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bright spark

A person who is regarded as clever or intelligent. The term can also be used sarcastically to mean the opposite. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, New Zealand. Timmy's the bright spark of the family—he graduated at the top of his class. Some bright spark at the auto repair shop forgot to tighten the lugnuts on my wheels after he rotated my tires.
See also: bright, spark

spark plug

One who energizes others with one's ideas and positive personality. Primarily heard in US. Kelly was the spark plug the company needed to get their new project off the ground.
See also: plug, spark

spark spread

The income made by selling electricity, after the cost of the fuel used to produce the electricity has been subtracted. We need to analyze the spark spread, to determine if the electrical plant can stay open.
See also: spark, spread

spark something off

1. Lit. to ignite something flammable or explosive. The lightning sparked afire off. The match sparked off a raging inferno.
2. Fig. to cause or start some violent or energetic activity. We were afraid there would be a riot and the speaker nearly sparked it off. The speaker sparked off quite a discussion.
See also: off, spark

make the sparks fly

Start a fight or argument, as in If Mary finds out he went to the races without her, that will make the sparks fly. In this idiom, the small particles of a fire called sparks are transferred to an inflammatory situation. [Early 1900s]
See also: fly, make, Sparks

a bright spark

mainly BRITISH
A bright spark is a clever person. But the girl from Dublin is not just a pretty face. The bright spark is studying archaeology and the history of art at UCD. Some bright spark at the club seems to think that the best way to attract young fans is to turn the football stadium into a theme park for the day. Note: This expression is usually used to mean the opposite, referring humorously to a person with stupid ideas.
See also: bright, spark

bright spark

a clever person (often used ironically to or of a person who has done something you consider stupid). British informal
See also: bright, spark

(a) bright ˈspark

(British English, informal, often ironic) a lively and intelligent person: What bright spark (= stupid person) left the front door open all night?
See also: bright, spark

spark off

1. To ignite some fire: Forest rangers think that a cigarette sparked off the blaze. After the fire was extinguished, investigators tried to determine what sparked it off.
2. To set something in motion; trigger something: The assassination sparked off a revolution. Historians disagree about what sparked the riot off.
See also: off, spark

spark up

1. To initiate some conversation, friendship, or debate: On the train, I sparked up a conversation with the person next to me. The trial sparked a debate up over free speech.
2. To light some cigarette, cigar, or similar product: He lit a match and sparked up his pipe. She took a cigar from the case and sparked it up. The smokers went outside to spark up.
See also: spark, up
References in periodicals archive ?
The Spark Arena sign above the entrance uses 9,500 high intensity, full colour LED lights that are visible during the day as well as at night.
Over the last 3-4 years, the automotive industry in India has witnessed considerable increase in demand for passenger cars and two-wheelers, resulting in high volume sales of spark plugs.
The new spark plug also uses a newly-developed material, a nickel alloy, for the ground and center electrodes.
In this novel Spark presents the extremely difficult task of knowing the other person.
Ward has shown that an engine equipped with all of the items necessary--ignition system, head design, twin spark plugs--is capable of producing 30% better fuel economy and running homogeneous air-fuel mixtures as lean as 30:1 while meeting current and future emission standards.
For example, shells stuffed with an aluminum mixture (containing barium, an element that stabilizes fireworks) produce brilliant white sparks.
With Spark New Zealands backing, CCL will gain the benefits of Spark Digitals resources to help us accelerate our growth.
In 1988, a high-performance engine running 6,000 rpm with a spark duration of one millisecond rotated 36[degrees] during the spark event," he says.
Chemical bonds shatter and reform, releasing loads of energy--much more energy than contained in the spark that got the whole thing started.
The trick is to bounce an image of the spark through a system of mirrors so that the light has to travel an extra 385 feet before reaching the camera lens.
The investigation concerns, among other things, whether the consideration to be paid to Spark Networks shareholders is grossly unfair, inadequate, and substantially below the fair or inherent value of Spark Networks.
The induced charge was large enough to generate a spark when the liquid came near a metal object.
The feedback we've received on Spark has been overwhelmingly favorable," said Dean Hering, the Chief Innovator at OVO.
The spark plug ignites the air/fuel mixture to produce the combustion that powers the engine.