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1. Literally, of a plant, to grow up above the soil. I can't believe some flowers are already sprouting up—I only planted them last week! A bunch of weeds sprouted up in the front yard over the weekend.
2. To appear or arise very quickly and suddenly. Problems started sprouting up as soon as the software went live. Cafés and boutique shops have been sprouting up all over this part of town in recent months.
To begin suddenly behaving in an obedient, respectful, congenial manner—i.e., like an angel. Usually used sarcastically or facetiously. If you honestly believe they're going to sprout wings and start making decisions that put consumers before profits, then you're more naïve than I thought.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
to grow upward quickly, as do newly sprouted seedlings. The seeds sprouted up in the warm rains. Many of the newly planted seeds failed to sprout up on time.
Fig. to behave so well as to resemble an angel. The kid is not about to sprout wings, but he probably won't get into jail again. He was so good and helpful, I thought he would sprout wings.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To emerge from the soil and grow rapidly: Weeds had sprouted up through the cracks in the pavement.
2. To emerge and develop rapidly: Within a few years, strip malls had sprouted up across the county.
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.
n. a child. A little sprout came up and tried to sell me a ticket to a game.
1. tv. to die and become an angel. I’m not ready to sprout wings yet. I’ve got a few more years.
2. tv. to be so good as to become an angel. The kid is not about to sprout wings, but he probably won’t get into jail again.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.