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spike

1
[ spahyk ]
/ spaɪk /
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See synonyms for: spike / spiked / spikes on Thesaurus.com

noun
verb (used with object), spiked, spik·ing.
verb (used without object), spiked, spik·ing.
to rise or increase sharply (often followed by up): Interest rates spiked up last week.
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Idioms about spike

    spike someone's guns. gun1 (def. 16).

Origin of spike

1
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun spik(e), from Old Norse spīkr “nail”; akin to Old Norse spīk “splinter,” Middle Low German spīker “nail”

OTHER WORDS FROM spike

spikelike, adjective

Other definitions for spike (2 of 2)

spike2
[ spahyk ]
/ spaɪk /

noun
an ear, as of wheat or other grain.
Botany. an inflorescence in which the flowers are without a stalk, or apparently so, along an elongated, unbranched axis.

Origin of spike

2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English spik(e), spika, probably special use of spike1, influenced by Latin spīca “ear of grain”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use spike in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for spike (1 of 2)

spike1
/ (spaɪk) /

noun
verb (mainly tr)

Word Origin for spike

C13 spyk; related to Old English spīcing nail, Old Norse spīk splinter, Middle Low German spīker spike, Norwegian spīk spoke ², Latin spīca sharp point; see spike ²

British Dictionary definitions for spike (2 of 2)

spike2
/ (spaɪk) /

noun botany
an inflorescence consisting of a raceme of sessile flowers, as in the gladiolus and sedges
an ear of wheat, barley, or any other grass that has sessile spikelets

Word Origin for spike

C14: from Latin spīca ear of corn
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

Scientific definitions for spike

spike
[ spīk ]

An elongated indeterminate inflorescence in which the flowers are attached directly to a common stem, rather than borne on individual stalks arising from the stem. The gladiolus produces spikes. The distinctive spikes of grasses such as wheat or barley are known as spikelets. See illustration at inflorescence.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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