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verb (used with object)
  1. 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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of spearheading

British Dictionary definitions for spearheading


  1. the pointed head of a spear
  2. the leading force in a military attack
  3. any person or thing that leads or initiates an attack, a campaign, etc
  1. (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 spearheading



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