- a U-shaped device that slips over and straps to the heel of a boot and has a blunt, pointed, or roweled projection at the back for use by a mounted rider to urge a horse forward.
- anything that goads, impels, or urges, as to action, speed, or achievement.
- climbing iron.
- Ornithology. a stiff, usually sharp, horny process on the leg of various birds, especially the domestic rooster, or on the bend of the wing, as in jacanas and screamers.
- Pathology. a bony projection or exostosis.
- a sharp piercing or cutting instrument fastened to the leg of a gamecock in cockfighting; gaff.
- Physical Geography. a ridge or line of elevation projecting from or subordinate to the main body of a mountain or mountain range.
- something that projects and resembles or suggests a gaff; sharp projection.
- a short or stunted branch or shoot, as of a tree.
- Typography. a short, seriflike projection from the bottom of the short vertical stroke in the capital G in some fonts.
- wing dam.
- 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.
- Ceramics. a triangular support of refractory clay for an object being fired.
- Railroads. spur track.
- to prick with or as if with a spur or spurs; incite or urge on: The rider spurred his mount ruthlessly. Appreciation spurs ambition.
- to strike or wound with the spur, as a gamecock.
- to furnish with spurs or a spur.
- to goad or urge one's horse with spurs or a spur; ride quickly.
- to proceed hurriedly; press forward: We spurred onward through the night.
- on the spur of the moment, without deliberation; impulsively; suddenly: We headed for the beach on the spur of the moment.
- win one's spurs, to achieve distinction or success for the first time; prove one's ability or worth: Our team hasn't won its spurs yet.
Origin of spur1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- a batch of newly made rag-paper sheets.
Origin of spur2
Examples from the Web for spurs
His top five, separated by just 2.67 points, are the Thunder, Pacers, Spurs, Clippers and Heat.Kevin Durant Is Poised For NBA Supremacy
February 20, 2014
To the extent that The Burglary helps to push that along and spurs calls for real reform, it should be required reading.They’ve Always Been Watching You
January 9, 2014
We Americans are still pretty strong on eroticism, but all too often it is fear that spurs us or restrains us.How to Fight for Freedom in 2014
December 29, 2013
When more women enter the workforce, it spurs innovation, increases productivity, and grows the economy.Hillary Clinton: No ‘Dignity’ in Violence
September 24, 2012
News like this spurs social criticism and debate on the faults of modern society.Behind China's Killing Spree
May 17, 2010
It was all in his favour that he should have been forced at first to win his spurs as an actor.The Man Shakespeare
We are now in the region of the Causses; around us rise the spurs of Sauveterre and Svrac.The Roof of France
The boy on Lucretia is jabbing her with the spurs, and she's cutting up.
With the Porters it was jingle of spurs, and stride of the horse.
She'll buy her some spurs and try to rope and cut out and help brand.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
- a pointed device or sharp spiked wheel fixed to the heel of a rider's boot to enable him to urge his horse on
- anything serving to urge or encouragethe increase in salary was a spur to their production
- a sharp horny projection from the leg just above the claws in male birds, such as the domestic cock
- a pointed process in any of various animals; calcar
- a tubular extension at the base of the corolla in flowers such as larkspur
- a short or stunted branch of a tree
- a ridge projecting laterally from a mountain or mountain range
- a wooden prop or a masonry reinforcing pier
- another name for groyne
- Also called: spur track a railway branch line or siding
- a short side road leading off a main roada motorway spur
- a sharp cutting instrument attached to the leg of a gamecock
- on the spur of the moment on impulse
- win one's spurs
- historyto earn knighthood
- to prove one's ability; gain distinction
- (tr) to goad or urge with or as if with spurs
- (intr) to go or ride quickly; press on
- (tr) to injure or strike with a spur
- (tr) to provide with a spur or spurs
Word Origin and History for spurs
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.
- A spine or projection from a bone.
- A small ridge that projects sharply from the side of a larger hill or mountain.
- A projection from a bone, as on the heel of the foot.
Idioms and Phrases with spurs
In addition to the idiom beginning with spur
- spur on
- on the spur of the moment
- win one's spurs