[ spur ]
/ spɜr /
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.
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.
- 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.
verb (used with object), spurred, spur·ring.
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.
verb (used without object), spurred, spur·ring.
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.
CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?
Did you collect all of last week’s words, but eftsoons forget what they mean? Don’t worry, we’re here to jog your memory. See how many words from the week of May 18 to 24 you can get right!
Question 1 of 7
Idioms for spur
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
before 900; (noun) Middle English spure, Old English spura; cognate with Old High German sporo, Old Norse spori spur; akin to spurn; (v.) Middle English spuren, derivative of the noun
SYNONYMS FOR spur
1, 2 goad.
OTHER WORDS FROM spurspur·less, adjectivespur·like, adjectivespur·rer, noun
Words nearby spur
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for on the spur of the moment
/ (spɜː) /
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
- history to earn knighthood
- to prove one's ability; gain distinction
verb spurs, spurring or spurred
(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 for spur
Old English spura; related to Old Norse spori, Old High German sporo
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
Medical definitions for on the spur of the moment
[ spûr ]
A spine or projection from a bone.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for on the spur of the moment
[ spûr ]
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with on the spur of the moment (1 of 2)
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]
Idioms and Phrases with on the spur of the moment (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with spur
- spur on
- on the spur of the moment
- win one's spurs
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.