spike

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin spīca "ear of grain"

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

spike (plural spikes)

  1. A sort of very large nail; also, a piece of pointed iron set with points upward/outward.
  2. Anything resembling such a nail in shape.
    • Addison
      He wears on his head the corona radiata [] ; the spikes that shoot out represent the rays of the sun.
  3. An ear of corn or grain.
  4. (botany) A kind of inflorescence in which sessile flowers are arranged on an unbranched elongated axis.
  5. (in plural spikes; informal) Running shoes with spikes in the soles.
  6. A sharp peak in a graph.
  7. The long, narrow part of a woman's high-heeled shoe that elevates the heel.
  8. (volleyball) An attack from, usually, above the height of the net performed with the intent to send the ball straight to the floor of the opponent or off the hands of the opposing block.
  9. (zoology) An adolescent male deer.
  10. a surge in power.
  11. (slang) The casual ward of a workhouse.
  12. spike lavender
    oil of spike

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Verb[edit]

spike (third-person singular simple present spikes, present participle spiking, simple past and past participle spiked)

  1. To covertly put alcohol or another intoxicating substance into a drink.
    She spiked my lemonade with vodka!
  2. To add a small amount of one substance to another.
    The water sample to be tested has been spiked with arsenic, antimony, mercury, and lead in quantities commonly found in industrial effluents.
  3. (volleyball) To attack from, usually, above the height of the net with the intent to send the ball straight to the floor of the opponent or off the hands of the opposing block.
  4. (military) To render (a gun) unusable by driving a metal spike into its touch hole.
    • 1834, Frederick Marryat, Peter Simple:
      He jumped down, wrenched the hammer from the armourer’s hand, and seizing a nail from the bag, in a few moments he had spiked the gun.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 235-6:
      Small skirmishes also took place, and the Afghans managed to seize a pair of mule-guns and force the British to spike and abandon two other precious guns.
  5. (journalism) To decide not to publish or make public.
    • October 14, 2002, Jonathan Sale, The Guardian, Edward VIII news blackout.
      Instead, the "Beaver" declared he would spike the story about Wallis Simpson and make sure his fellow media moguls sat on it too.
  6. To increase sharply.
    Traffic accidents spiked in December when there was ice on the roads.
  7. To fasten with spikes, or long, large nails.
    to spike down planks
  8. To set or furnish with spikes.
  9. To fix on a spike.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Young to this entry?)
  10. (football slang) To slam the football to the ground, usually in celebration of scoring a touchdown.

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