noun, plural: sprouts

(1) A newly grown plant.

(2) A new branch, bud or shoot of a plant.

(3) Brussels sprout, the green vegetable.


(1) To germinate; to begin to grow or develop.

(2) To put forth a bud, shoot or a new branch.

(3) To cause the seed to begin to grow.


Many sprouts are very nutritious and beneficial to human health, such as bean sprouts and Brussels sprouts. However, other sprouts are not edible. An example is the sprouts of kidney beans contain a toxic compound, phytohaemagglutinin, which causes severe gastric upset.

Word origin: Middle English spruten, from Old English -sprūtan (in āsprūtan, to sprout forth).

See also: sprouting

Related terms:

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