1. A small particle of fire or ignited substance which is emitted by a body in combustion. Man is born unto trouble, as hte sparks fly upward. (job v. 7)
2. A small, shining body, or transient light; a sparkle.
3. That which, like a spark, may be kindled into a flame, or into action; a feeble germ; an elementary principle. If any spark of life be yet remaining. Small intellectual spark. Vital spark of heavenly flame. We have here and there a little clear light, some sparks of bright knowledge. (locke) Bright gem instinct with music, vocal spark. (Wordsworth) Spark arrester, a contrivance to prevent the escape of sparks while it allows the passage of gas, chiefly used in the smokestack of a wood–burning locomotive. Called also spark consumer.
Origin: OE. Sparke, AS. Spearca; akin to D. Spark, sperk; cf. Icel. Spraka to crackle, Lith. Sprageti, Gr. A bursting with a noise, Skr. Sphrj to crackle, to thunder. Cf. Speak.