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(1) The process whereby seeds germinate or begin to grow.

(2) The practice of soaking, draining, and then rinsing seeds at regular intervals until the seeds germinate or sprout.

(cell biology) The process whereby nerve cells generate additional branches (outgrowths) to establish new synapses or to alter the strength of existing synapses.


In botany, sprouting may be induced so that seeds begin to germinate and produce sprouts. This practice is usually done for commercial use.

In cell biology, neuronal sprouting occurs in the following instances: (1) embryonic neurons undergo primary differentiation, (2) adult neurons respond to nervous system damage, and (3) dissociated neurons undergo redifferentiation in cultures.

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

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