spark(redirected from sparking)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
a bright sparkmainly 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.
bright sparka clever person (often used ironically to or of a person who has done something you consider stupid). British informal
(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?
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.
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.