1. The quality or state of being spontaneous, or acting from native feeling, proneness, or temperament,
without constraint or external force.
Romney Leigh, who lives by diagrams,Mrs. Browning.
And crosses not the spontaneities
Of all his individual, personal
With formal universals.
2. (Biol.) (a) The tendency to undergo change, characteristic of both animal and vegetable organisms,
and not restrained or cheked by the environment. (b) The tendency to activity of muscular tissue, including
the voluntary muscles, when in a state of healthful vigor and refreshment.
(Spon*ta"ne*ous) a. [L. spontaneus, fr. sponte of free will, voluntarily.]
1. Proceding from natural feeling, temperament, or disposition, or from a native internal proneness,
readiness, or tendency, without constraint; as, a spontaneous gift or proportion.
2. Proceeding from, or acting by, internal impulse, energy, or natural law, without external force; as, spontaneous
motion; spontaneous growth.
3. Produced without being planted, or without human labor; as, a spontaneous growth of wood.
Spontaneous combustion, combustion produced in a substance by the evolution of heat through the
chemical action of its own elements; as, the spontaneous combustion of waste matter saturated with oil.
Spontaneous generation. (Biol.) See under Generation.
Syn. Voluntary; uncompelled; willing. Spontaneous, Voluntary. What is voluntary is the result
of a volition, or act of choice; it therefore implies some degree of consideration, and may be the result
of mere reason without excited feeling. What is spontaneous springs wholly from feeling, or a sudden
impulse which admits of no reflection; as, a spontaneous burst of applause. Hence, the term is also
applied to things inanimate when they are produced without the determinate purpose or care of man.
"Abstinence which is but voluntary fasting, and . . . exercise which is but voluntary labor." J. Seed.
Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play,Goldsmith.
The soul adopts, and owns their firstborn away.
Spon*ta"ne*ous*ly, adv. Spon*ta"ne*ous*ness, n.
(Spon*toon") n. [F. sponton, esponton, it. spontone, spuntone.] (Mil.) A kind of half-
pike, or halberd, formerly borne by inferior officers of the British infantry, and used in giving signals to
(Spook) n. [D. spook; akin to G. spuk, Sw. spöke, Dan. spögelse a specter, spöge to play, sport,
joke, spög a play, joke.]
1. A spirit; a ghost; an apparition; a hobgoblin. [Written also spuke.] Ld. Lytton.
2. (Zoöl.) The chimæra.
Spool stand, an article holding spools of thread, turning on pins, used by women at their work.
(Spool) n. [OE. spole, OD. spoele, D. spoel; akin to G. spule, OHG. spuola, Dan. & Sw. spole.]
A piece of cane or red with a knot at each end, or a hollow cylinder of wood with a ridge at each end,
used to wind thread or yarn upon.
(Spool), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spooled ; p. pr. & vb. n. Spooling.] To wind on a spool or spools.
(Spool"er) n. One who, or that which, spools.