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 lug nuts on my wheels after he rotated my tires.
See also: bright, spark

make the sparks fly

1. To cause disruption, confusion, or turmoil. The CEO's resignation made the sparks fly in the media about the tech giant's future. My mom will make the sparks fly if she finds out we took her car without asking.
2. To do or attempt something with great energy, enthusiasm, and skill. The team's quarterback really made the sparks fly on Sunday, making over 30 completed passes for four touchdowns and running for a total of 250 yards all by himself.
See also: fly, make, Sparks

not a spark of decency

A total lack of the common, everyday courtesy, respect, and politeness that is expected and assumed by social convention. I can't believe she came to the gala when she wasn't even invited. She hasn't a spark of decency.
See also: decency, not, of, spark

spark off

1. Literally, to ignite or set fire to something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "spark" and "off." He sparked off the fireworks, then ran behind the car for cover. Police arrested the man on suspicion of sparking the forest fire off.
2. To cause something to happen or begin; to set something into motion. A noun or pronoun can be used between "spark" and "off." The question sparked off a two-hour debate about the ethics of modifying genetic code before birth. The killing sparked a series of riots off across the country, which gathered momentum into a full-blown revolution.
See also: off, 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 up

1. To begin or initiate something, especially a conversation, argument, or . A noun or pronoun can be used between "spark" and "up." I sparked up a conversation with the man sitting next to me, and it turned out that he had gone to high school with my college roommate. What are the odds? The president's actions have been sparking up debates and arguments around the country about its ethics.
2. To ignite a tobacco product in order to smoke it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "spark" and "up." If you absolutely have to spark up after dinner, please go do it outside. I'll always remember my father sitting in his great big armchair sparking cigars up as he watched television into the night.
See also: spark, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Additionally, there might be some disadvantages for students, like unwillingness to try out new learning techniques implied by teams, and the frustration and discontentment about having more than one teacher in the class (Sparker, 2003).
3) In 1997 a final survey using CCGS Matthew was conducted to collect Seistec high-resolution sub-bottom profiler data along lines that had been surveyed in 1996 with only the sparker system (Cruise 97060; Shaw et al.
Having been born a mere Sparker, with no magic ability, Marah gets by with her passion for music and books, bolstered by strong bonds with family and friends.
She says she knows why the motor goes: The "sparker" is awfully strong.
The first two are the Fire Lite sparker, able to produce over 5,000 sparks, and the quarter-sized button compass.
Ospreys: G Henson (J Spratt 37);T Bowe, SParker, A Bishop (D Biggar 69), S Williams; J Hook, J Nutbrown(MPhillips 53);PJames(C Griffiths 79), R Hibbard (H Bennett 58),A Jones, I Gough (AW Jones 25),ALloyd (F Tiatia 62), T Smith, R Jones (capt),M Holah.
Ospreys: L Byrne (D Biggar 63); T Bowe, SParker, A Bishop, NWalker(S Williams 40); J Hook, RWells (R Wells 70); P James, RHibbard (E Shervington 63), A Jones (C Griffiths 52), I Gough, A Wyn Jones (S Tandy 48), J Thomas (T Smith 73), MHolah, F Tiatia (A Jones 61-70)
WALES: M Stoddart (Scarlets); MJones (Scarlets), SParker (Ospreys), GHenson (Ospreys), T Shanklin (Blues);J Hook (Ospreys), D Peel (Scarlets);G Jenkins (Blues,capt), H Bennett (Ospreys), R Thomas (Dragons), A-WJones (Ospreys), I Evans (Ospreys), C Charvis (Dragons), R Sowden-Taylor(Blues), J Thomas (Ospreys).
Archers Sparker made it a clean sweep for the locals with a game success in heat three.
Ever stood in the rain at an organised do (the only places where fireworks should be allowed), watched the fire for a bit, gone "ooh" at the rockets, watched a sparker fizzle out, paid over the odds for a burger and thought: "Why do we bother?"
Kansas City Probable starting offence LT W Roaf 77, LG BWaters 54, C CWiegmann 62, RG W Shields 68, RT J Welbourn 76, WR EKennison 87, SParker 18, RB LJohnson 27, FB TRichardson 49, QB TGreen 10, TE TGonzalez 88.
Probable starting defence LE RSeymour 93, DT VWilfork 75, RE TWarren 94, LB W McGinest 55, CBrown 98, T Bruschi 54, M Vrabel 50, CB ASamuel 22, E Hobbs 27, SS J Sanders 36, FS EWilson 26 Kansas City Probable starting offence LT W Roaf 77, LG BWaters 54, C CWiegmann 62, RG W Shields 68, RT J Black 65, WR EKennison 87, SParker 18, RB LJohnson 27, FB TRichardson 49, QB TGreen 10, TE TGonzalez 88.
Two cup replays took place and a hat - trick from SRodrigues, two from brother Dave and one each from M Owen, SParker and C Hughes gave St John's Celtic an 8-2 victory over Parkview.