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spear1

[speer]
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noun
  1. a long, stabbing weapon for thrusting or throwing, consisting of a wooden shaft to which a sharp-pointed head, as of iron or steel, is attached.
  2. a soldier or other person armed with such a weapon; spearman: an army of 40,000 spears.
  3. a similar weapon or stabbing implement, as one for use in fishing.
  4. the act of spearing.
adjective
  1. spear side.
verb (used with object)
  1. to pierce with or as with a spear.
verb (used without object)
  1. to go or penetrate like a spear: The plane speared through the clouds.

Origin of spear1

before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English spere; cognate with Dutch, German speer
Related formsspear·er, noun

spear2

[speer]
noun
  1. a sprout or shoot of a plant, as a blade of grass or an acrospire of grain.
verb (used without object)
  1. to sprout; shoot; send up or rise in a spear or spears.

Origin of spear2

1520–30; variant of spire1, perhaps influenced by spear1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for spears

Spears

noun
  1. Britney (ˈbrɪtnɪ). born 1981, US pop singer; records include the single "Baby One More Time" (1998) and the album Britney (2001)

spear1

noun
  1. a weapon consisting of a long shaft with a sharp pointed end of metal, stone, or wood that may be thrown or thrust
  2. a similar implement used to catch fish
  3. another name for spearman
verb
  1. to pierce (something) with or as if with a spear
Derived Formsspearer, noun

Word Origin

Old English spere; related to Old Norse spjör spears, Greek sparos gilthead

spear2

noun
  1. a shoot, slender stalk, or blade, as of grass, asparagus, or broccoli

Word Origin

C16: probably variant of spire 1, influenced by spear 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for spears

spear

n.1

Old English spere, from Proto-Germanic *speri (cf. Old Norse spjör, Old Saxon, Old Frisian sper, Dutch speer, Old High German sper, German Speer "spear"), from PIE root *sper- "spear, pole" (cf. Old Norse sparri "spar, rafter," and perhaps also Latin sparus "hunting spear").

spear

n.2

"sprout of a plant," 1540s, variant of spire.

spear

v.

1755, from spear (n.1). Related: Speared; spearing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper