- 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.
Origin of spur1
Synonyms for spur
Antonyms for spur
- 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.
win one's spurs
Gain a position or attain distinction through hard work or some special accomplishment. For example, After two years of freelancing, she won her spurs as a programmer and was hired for the top job. This expression originally alluded to being knighted for some act of bravery and was being used figuratively by the mid-1500s.
In addition to the idiom beginning with spur
- spur on
- on the spur of the moment
- win one's spurs