spark


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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

v.
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

v.
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 classic literature ?
Rose looked with all her eyes, and saw the spark grow into the likeness of a golden vase, then green leaves came out, and then a crimson flower glowing on the darkness with a splendid lustre.
Instantly Murchison pressed with his finger the key of the electric battery, restored the current of the fluid, and discharged the spark into the breech of the Columbiad.
And as they continued to fall upon him, the spark of life within flickered and went down.
The spark remained stationary for a moment, then moved back again in the direction from which it had advanced.
The spark may smoulder and go out, or it may glow and expand, but see
A torrent of sparks swept all the way across the building, overwhelming everything, hiding it from sight; and then Jurgis looked through the fingers of his hands, and saw pouring out of the caldron a cascade of living, leaping fire, white with a whiteness not of earth, scorching the eyeballs.
Ferrars to give up a woman like Miss Morton, with thirty thousand pounds to her fortune, for Lucy Steele that had nothing at all; and I had it from Miss Sparks myself.
As these ruffians turned and turned, their matted locks now flung forward over their eyes, now flung backward over their necks, some women held wine to their mouths that they might drink; and what with dropping blood, and what with dropping wine, and what with the stream of sparks struck out of the stone, all their wicked atmosphere seemed gore and fire.
I strained my sight upon the sparks that fell among the tinder, and upon which he breathed and breathed, match in hand, but I could only see his lips, and the blue point of the match; even those, but fitfully.
The following day he started in the same way; the horse trod on the glass as if it had been level earth, and sparks of fire flew from its hoofs.
Sparks and burning twigs began to fall into the road, and single leaves like puffs of flame.
Through the red mist that floated all around her, she could see high walls of changing light, where orange, blue, and violet flames went flickering to and fro, making graceful figures as they danced and glowed; and underneath these rainbow arches, little Spirits glided, far and near, wearing crowns of fire, beneath which flashed their wild, bright eyes; and as they spoke, sparks dropped quickly from their lips, and Ripple saw with wonder, through their garments of transparent light, that in each Fairy's breast there burned a steady flame, that never wavered or went out.
Hunt upon his guard: still, as there was no knowing how far his plans might have succeeded, and as any rash act might blow the mere smouldering sparks of treason into a sudden blaze, it was thought advisable by those with whom Mr.
The whole structure of glowing logs fell down, raising a small turmoil of white ashes and sparks.
Not for the trivial reason that fire warms the feet or cooks our soup, but because it has sparks.