spur on

Goad or urge ahead, as in The thought of winning a Pulitzer Prize spurred the reporter on. This expression transfers using spurs to make a horse go faster to incentives of other kinds. [Late 1500s]


Nearby words

  1. spur,
  2. spur blight,
  3. spur gall,
  4. spur gear,
  5. spur gearing,
  6. spur track,
  7. spur veins,
  8. spur wheel,
  9. spur-of-the-moment,
  10. spurge

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.