Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[stur-uh p, stir-, stuhr-] /ˈstɜr əp, ˈstɪr-, ˈstʌr-/
a loop, ring, or other contrivance of metal, wood, leather, etc., suspended from the saddle of a horse to support the rider's foot.
any of various similar supports or clamps used for special purposes.
Nautical. a short rope with an eye at the end hung from a yard to support a footrope, the footrope being rove through the eye.
Also called binder. (in reinforced-concrete constructions) a U -shaped or W -shaped bent rod for supporting longitudinal reinforcing rods.
Anatomy. stapes.
  1. a strap of fabric or elastic at the bottom of a pair of pants, worn around and under the foot.
  2. stirrups, (used with a plural verb) close-fitting knit pants with such straps.
Origin of stirrup
before 1000; Middle English; Old English stigrāp (stige ascent + rāp rope); cognate with German Stegreif
Related forms
stirrupless, adjective
stirruplike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for stirrup
Historical Examples
  • Halfway up the stretch Allis was riding stirrup to stirrup with her father.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • The horse was saddled and bridled; the groom held the stirrup, and up I got.

  • He picked up the bridle-reins, caught the saddle-horn, and thrust his toe into the stirrup.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • "I'll hold on to you; and you must hold on to the stirrup and to the horse's mane," she said.

  • He led her to her horse and held the stirrup for her as she swung to the saddle.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • He let his foot down into the stirrup again and they all smiled broadly.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • She saw Garnache raise his foot to the stirrup and hoist himself to the saddle.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • Fletcher paused, one foot in the stirrup, and looked the fellow up and down.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • With his foot in the stirrup he made the cord taut and set the shaft in position.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • His foot was in the stirrup when a quick rush sounded behind him.

British Dictionary definitions for stirrup


Also called stirrup iron. either of two metal loops on a riding saddle, with a flat footpiece through which a rider puts his foot for support. They are attached to the saddle by stirrup leathers
a U-shaped support or clamp made of metal, wood, leather, etc
(nautical) one of a set of ropes fastened to a yard at one end and having a thimble at the other through which a footrope is rove for support
the usual US name for étrier
Word Origin
Old English stigrāp, from stīg path, step (related to Old High German stīgan to move up) + rāprope; related to Old Norse stigreip, Old High German stegareif
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for stirrup

Old English stigrap, literally "climbing rope," from stige "a climbing, ascent" (from Proto-Germanic *stigaz "climbing;" see stair) + rap (see rope). Originally a looped rope as a help for mounting. Germanic cognates include Old Norse stigreip, Old High German stegareif, German stegreif. Surgical device used in childbirth, etc., so called from 1884. Stirrup-cup (1680s) was a cup of wine or other drink handed to a man already on horseback and setting out on a journey, hence "a parting glass" (cf. French le vin de l'etrier).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
stirrup in Medicine

stirrup stir·rup (stûr'əp, stĭr'-)
See stapes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for stirrup

Word Value for stirrup

Scrabble Words With Friends