Spurs on a cowboy boot.
- The definition of a spur is anything that pushes someone or something forward or a device that goes over a shoe during horseback riding for the rider to use to push the horse forward.
- An example of spur is a prize that drives someone to win the race.
- An example of spur is an item that a cowboy wears on his boots.
- To spur is defined as to urge on.
An example of to spur is to cheer on a friend in a race.
- any of various pointed devices worn on the heel by the rider of a horse and used to urge the horse forward
- anything that urges, impels, or incites; stimulus to action
- something like a spur; specif.,
- a spinelike process, as on the wings or legs of certain birds
- a spinelike outgrowth of bone, as on the human heel, resulting from injury, disease, etc.
- climbing iron
- a sharp metal device attached as a weapon to the leg of a gamecock in a cockfight
- a short, stunted, or projecting branch or shoot of a tree, etc.
- a range or ridge projecting in a lateral direction from the main mass of a mountain or mountain range
- a buttress, as of masonry, or any similar structure
- a short wooden reinforcing piece; brace; strut
- spur track
- Bot. a slender, tubelike structure formed by a basal extension of one or more petals or sepals, often serving as a nectar receptacle; calcar
Origin of spurMiddle English spure from Old English spura, akin to German sporn from Indo-European base an unverified form sp(h)er-, to jerk, push with the foot from source spurn, Sanskrit sphur?ti, (he) kicks away, Classical Latin spernere, literally , to push away
transitive verbspurred, spur′ring
- to strike or prick with a spur or spurs
- to urge, incite, or stimulate to action, greater effort, etc.: often with on
- to provide with a spur or spurs
- to strike or injure as with a spur (sense )
on the spur of the moment
win one's spurs
- A short spike or spiked wheel that attaches to the heel of a rider's boot and is used to urge a horse forward.
- An incentive: a spur to action.
- A spurlike attachment or projection, as:a. A spinelike process on the leg of some birds.b. A climbing iron; a crampon.c. A gaff attached to the leg of a gamecock.d. A short or stunted branch of a tree.e. A bony outgrowth or protuberance.
- A lateral ridge projecting from a mountain or mountain range.
- An oblique reinforcing prop or stay of timber or masonry.
- Botany A tubular or saclike extension of the corolla or calyx of a flower, as in a columbine or larkspur.
- An ergot growing on rye.
- A spur track.
verbspurred, spur·ring, spurs
- To urge (a horse) on by the use of spurs.
- To incite or stimulate: “A business tax cut is needed to spur industrial investment” ( New York Times )
Origin of spurMiddle English spure from Old English spura ; see sperə- in Indo-European roots.
top: metal spurs
bottom: on a columbine flower
- A rigid implement, often roughly y-shaped, that is fixed to one's heel for purpose of prodding a horse. Often worn by, and emblematic of, the cowboy or the knight.
- Anything that inspires or motivates, as a spur does to a horse.
- An appendage or spike pointing rearward, near the foot, for instance that of a rooster.
- Any protruding part connected at one end, for instance a highway that extends from another highway into a city.
- Roots, tree roots.
- A mountain that shoots from another mountain or range and extends some distance in a lateral direction, or at right angles.
- A spiked iron worn by seamen upon the bottom of the boot, to enable them to stand upon the carcass of a whale to strip off the blubber.
- (carpentry) A brace strengthening a post and some connected part, such as a rafter or crossbeam; a strut.
- (architecture) The short wooden buttress of a post.
- (architecture) A projection from the round base of a column, occupying the angle of a square plinth upon which the base rests, or bringing the bottom bed of the base to a nearly square form. It is generally carved in leafage.
- Ergotized rye or other grain.
- A wall in a fortification that crosses a part of a rampart and joins to an inner wall.
- (shipbuilding) A piece of timber fixed on the bilgeways before launching, having the upper ends bolted to the vessel's side.
- (shipbuilding) A curved piece of timber serving as a half to support the deck where a whole beam cannot be placed.
(third-person singular simple present spurs, present participle spurring, simple past and past participle spurred)
Old English spora.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.