- a U-shaped device that slips over and straps to the heel of a boot and has a blunt, pointed, or roweled projection at the back for use by a mounted rider to urge a horse forward.
- anything that goads, impels, or urges, as to action, speed, or achievement.
- climbing iron.
- Ornithology. a stiff, usually sharp, horny process on the leg of various birds, especially the domestic rooster, or on the bend of the wing, as in jacanas and screamers.
- Pathology. a bony projection or exostosis.
- a sharp piercing or cutting instrument fastened to the leg of a gamecock in cockfighting; gaff.
- Physical Geography. a ridge or line of elevation projecting from or subordinate to the main body of a mountain or mountain range.
- something that projects and resembles or suggests a gaff; sharp projection.
- a short or stunted branch or shoot, as of a tree.
- Typography. a short, seriflike projection from the bottom of the short vertical stroke in the capital G in some fonts.
- wing dam.
- a slender, usually hollow, projection from some part of a flower, as from the calyx of the larkspur or the corolla of the violet.
- Also called spur shoot.a short shoot bearing flowers, as in fruit trees.
- a short wooden brace, usually temporary, for strengthening a post or some other part.
- any offset from a wall, as a buttress.
- Ceramics. a triangular support of refractory clay for an object being fired.
- Railroads. spur track.
- to prick with or as if with a spur or spurs; incite or urge on: The rider spurred his mount ruthlessly. Appreciation spurs ambition.
- to strike or wound with the spur, as a gamecock.
- to furnish with spurs or a spur.
- to goad or urge one's horse with spurs or a spur; ride quickly.
- to proceed hurriedly; press forward: We spurred onward through the night.
- on the spur of the moment, without deliberation; impulsively; suddenly: We headed for the beach on the spur of the moment.
- win one's spurs, to achieve distinction or success for the first time; prove one's ability or worth: Our team hasn't won its spurs yet.
Origin of spur1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a pointed device or sharp spiked wheel fixed to the heel of a rider's boot to enable him to urge his horse on
- anything serving to urge or encouragethe increase in salary was a spur to their production
- a sharp horny projection from the leg just above the claws in male birds, such as the domestic cock
- a pointed process in any of various animals; calcar
- a tubular extension at the base of the corolla in flowers such as larkspur
- a short or stunted branch of a tree
- a ridge projecting laterally from a mountain or mountain range
- a wooden prop or a masonry reinforcing pier
- another name for groyne
- Also called: spur track a railway branch line or siding
- a short side road leading off a main roada motorway spur
- a sharp cutting instrument attached to the leg of a gamecock
- on the spur of the moment on impulse
- win one's spurs
- historyto earn knighthood
- to prove one's ability; gain distinction
- (tr) to goad or urge with or as if with spurs
- (intr) to go or ride quickly; press on
- (tr) to injure or strike with a spur
- (tr) to provide with a spur or spurs
Word Origin and History for on the spur of the moment
Old English spura, spora (related to spurnan "to kick," see spurn), from Proto-Germanic *spuron (cf. Old Norse spori, Middle Dutch spore, Dutch spoor, Old High German sporo, German Sporn "spur"), from PIE *spere- "ankle" (see spurn).
Generalized sense of "anything that urges on, stimulus," is from late 14c. Meaning "a ridge projecting off a mountain mass" is recorded from 1650s. "Widely extended senses ... are characteristic of a horsey race." [Weekley] Expression on the spur of the moment (1801) preserves archaic phrase on the spur "in great haste" (1520s). To win one's spurs is to gain knighthood by some valorous act, gilded spurs being the distinctive mark of a knight.
c.1200, from spur (n.). Related: Spurred; spurring.
- A spine or projection from a bone.
- A small ridge that projects sharply from the side of a larger hill or mountain.
- A projection from a bone, as on the heel of the foot.
Idioms and Phrases with on the spur of the moment
on the spur of the moment
Impulsively, without prior preparation, as in He decided to join a tour to England on the spur of the moment. This expression alludes to the goading action of a spur to a horse. [Late 1700s]