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See also: Spear


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From Middle English spere, sperre, spear, from Old English spere, from Proto-Germanic *speru (compare West Frisian spear, Dutch speer, German Speer, Old Norse spjǫr), related to *sparrô (compare Middle Dutch sparre (rafter), Old Norse sparri (spar, rafter), sperra (rafter, beam)), from Proto-Indo-European *sperH- (compare Latin sparus (short spear), Albanian ferrë (thorn, thornbush)). See park.



spear (plural spears)

  1. A long stick with a sharp tip used as a weapon for throwing or thrusting, or anything used to make a thrusting motion.
  2. (now chiefly historical) A soldier armed with such a weapon; a spearman.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin 2012, p. 187:
      Two of the four spears came directly from Lady Margaret's staff. One was her great-nephew Maurice St John […].
  3. A lance with barbed prongs, used by fishermen to retrieve fish.
  4. (ice hockey) An illegal maneuver using the end of a hockey stick to strike into another hockey player.
  5. (wrestling) In professional wrestling, a running tackle in which the wrestler's shoulder is driven into the opponent's midsection.
  6. A shoot, as of grass; a spire.
  7. The feather of a horse.
  8. The rod to which the bucket, or plunger, of a pump is attached; a pump rod.
  9. A long, thin strip from a vegetable.
    asparagus and broccoli spears

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]


spear (third-person singular simple present spears, present participle spearing, simple past and past participle speared)

  1. To penetrate or strike with, or as if with, any long narrow object. To make a thrusting motion that catches an object on the tip of a long device.
  2. (intransitive) To shoot into a long stem, as some plants do.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mortimer to this entry?)



spear (comparative more spear, superlative most spear)

  1. Male
    a spear counterpart
    • 2019 episode 1 A Very English Scandal
      When I was young, I was so desperate I'd go looking on the spear side.
  2. Pertaining to male family members
    the spear side of the family



Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of spere (spear)

West Frisian[edit]


From Old Frisian spere, spiri, from Proto-Germanic *speru.


spear c (plural spearen, diminutive spearke)

  1. spear

Further reading[edit]

  • spear”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011