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  1. the sharp-pointed head that forms the piercing end of a spear.
  2. any person, contingent, or force that leads an attack, undertaking, etc.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to act as a spearhead for: She spearheaded the drive for new members.
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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

Related Words for spearheading

initiate, prompt, spur, launch, move, shepherd, head, motivate, bring, produce, originate, influence, direct, introduce, pioneer, persuade, helm, cause, guide, quarterback

Examples from the Web for spearheading

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper