- a slender, usually hollow, projection from some part of a flower, as from the calyx of the larkspur or the corolla of the violet.
- Also called spur shoot.a short shoot bearing flowers, as in fruit trees.
- a short wooden brace, usually temporary, for strengthening a post or some other part.
- any offset from a wall, as a buttress.
verb (used with object), spurred, spur·ring.
verb (used without object), spurred, spur·ring.
- spur blight,
- spur gall,
- spur gear,
- spur gearing,
- spur on
Origin of spur1
Origin of spur2
Examples from the Web for spur
And for those seeking a quick fix: Studies show that light therapy can spur a mood lift in just several days.
Though it had been meant to spur innovation, she said, “it became obvious that the law was actually working in reverse.”Here Come the Smart Guns: Will New Jersey Soon Have to Sell Safer Guns?|Brandy Zadrozny|September 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Nonetheless, Zarif said that any U.S. ground presence in Iraq would likely spur opposition.
“I think I sometimes acted as a spur, even though the spurring was not always wanted or welcome,” she said.
Instead of suppressing turnout, the law seemed to spur people to go to the polls.Cleveland, LeBron James, and the 2016 Republican Convention|Lloyd Green|July 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Two hours of toil up the steep mountain brought me to the top of a spur.Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches|Theodore Roosevelt
Oh, she was tired of it, did all she could to find him work, to spur him on!The Bill-Toppers|Andre Castaigne
"Friend, it is but idle to spur a horse when his legs are ham shackled," said the Highlander, haughtily.The Fair Maid of Perth|Sir Walter Scott
The Mecklenberg started forward at a walk; a spur had touched him.The Puppet Crown|Harold MacGrath
This man arranged a spur so that when unconsciousness came, his naked body pressed against the iron teeth.Martin Eden|Jack London
- historyto earn knighthood
- to prove one's ability; gain distinction
verb spurs, spurring or spurred
Word Origin for spur
Old English spura, spora (related to spurnan "to kick," see spurn), from Proto-Germanic *spuron (cf. Old Norse spori, Middle Dutch spore, Dutch spoor, Old High German sporo, German Sporn "spur"), from PIE *spere- "ankle" (see spurn).
Generalized sense of "anything that urges on, stimulus," is from late 14c. Meaning "a ridge projecting off a mountain mass" is recorded from 1650s. "Widely extended senses ... are characteristic of a horsey race." [Weekley] Expression on the spur of the moment (1801) preserves archaic phrase on the spur "in great haste" (1520s). To win one's spurs is to gain knighthood by some valorous act, gilded spurs being the distinctive mark of a knight.
c.1200, from spur (n.). Related: Spurred; spurring.
In addition to the idiom beginning with spur
- spur on
- on the spur of the moment
- win one's spurs