the sharp-pointed head that forms the piercing end of a spear.
any person, contingent, or force that leads an attack, undertaking, etc.

verb (used with object)

to act as a spearhead for: She spearheaded the drive for new members.

Origin of spearhead

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at spear1, head

Synonyms for spearhead

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spearhead

Contemporary Examples of spearhead

Historical Examples of spearhead

  • At length the spearhead was ready for the finishing touches.

    The Later Cave-Men

    Katharine Elizabeth Dopp

  • And every movement of the bison had driven the spearhead deeper.

    The Later Cave-Men

    Katharine Elizabeth Dopp

  • While Chipper worked at a spearhead, the other men were moving about.

    The Later Cave-Men

    Katharine Elizabeth Dopp

  • Fig. 201 represents a spearhead of iron from Brandenburg, North Germany.

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson

  • Here the soil was firm, and the spearhead had to be forced home.

    Captured at Tripoli

    Percy F. Westerman

British Dictionary definitions for spearhead



the pointed head of a spear
the leading force in a military attack
any person or thing that leads or initiates an attack, a campaign, etc


(tr) to lead or initiate (an attack, a campaign, etc)
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 spearhead

c.1400, from spear (n.1) + head (n.). Figurative sense of "leading element" (of an attack, movement, etc.) is attested from 1893; the verb in this sense is recorded from 1938. Related: Spearheaded; spearheading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper