[ spahyk ]
/ spaɪk /


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.

Nearby words

  1. spigelius' line,
  2. spigelius' lobe,
  3. spignel,
  4. spigot,
  5. spik,
  6. spike heath,
  7. spike heel,
  8. spike heels,
  9. spike lavender,
  10. spike moss


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

Origin of spike

1300–50; Middle English spik(e) (noun) < Old Norse spīkr nail; akin to Old Norse spīk, Middle Low German spīker nail

Related formsspike·like, adjective

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

British Dictionary definitions for spike up


/ (spaɪk) /


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


/ (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

Word Origin and History for spike up
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for spike up


[ spīk ]


A brief electrical event of 3 to 25 milliseconds that gives the appearance in the electroencephalogram of a rising and falling vertical line.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for spike up


[ 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.