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spear1

[speer]
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noun
  1. a long, stabbing weapon for thrusting or throwing, consisting of a wooden shaft to which a sharp-pointed head, as of iron or steel, is attached.
  2. a soldier or other person armed with such a weapon; spearman: an army of 40,000 spears.
  3. a similar weapon or stabbing implement, as one for use in fishing.
  4. the act of spearing.
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adjective
  1. spear side.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to pierce with or as with a spear.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to go or penetrate like a spear: The plane speared through the clouds.
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Origin of spear1

before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English spere; cognate with Dutch, German speer
Related formsspear·er, noun

spear2

[speer]
noun
  1. a sprout or shoot of a plant, as a blade of grass or an acrospire of grain.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to sprout; shoot; send up or rise in a spear or spears.
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Origin of spear2

1520–30; variant of spire1, perhaps influenced by spear1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for spears

Spears

noun
  1. Britney (ˈbrɪtnɪ). born 1981, US pop singer; records include the single "Baby One More Time" (1998) and the album Britney (2001)
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spear1

noun
  1. a weapon consisting of a long shaft with a sharp pointed end of metal, stone, or wood that may be thrown or thrust
  2. a similar implement used to catch fish
  3. another name for spearman
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verb
  1. to pierce (something) with or as if with a spear
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Derived Formsspearer, noun

Word Origin

Old English spere; related to Old Norse spjör spears, Greek sparos gilthead

spear2

noun
  1. a shoot, slender stalk, or blade, as of grass, asparagus, or broccoli
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Word Origin

C16: probably variant of spire 1, influenced by spear 1
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 spears

spear

n.1

Old English spere, from Proto-Germanic *speri (cf. Old Norse spjör, Old Saxon, Old Frisian sper, Dutch speer, Old High German sper, German Speer "spear"), from PIE root *sper- "spear, pole" (cf. Old Norse sparri "spar, rafter," and perhaps also Latin sparus "hunting spear").

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spear

n.2

"sprout of a plant," 1540s, variant of spire.

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spear

v.

1755, from spear (n.1). Related: Speared; spearing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper