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See also: Spoor



Early 19th century, from Afrikaans spoor, from Dutch spoor (track).[1]

Akin to Old English and Old Norse spor (whence Danish spor), and German Spur, all from Proto-Germanic *spurą. Compare spurn.



spoor (usually uncountable, plural spoors)

  1. The track, trail, droppings or scent of an animal.
    • 1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World [], London, New York, N.Y.: Hodder and Stoughton, →OCLC:
      We all stopped to examine that monstrous spoor. If it were indeed a bird - and what animal could leave such a mark? - its foot was so much larger than an ostrich's that its height upon the same scale must be enormous.
    • 1918 September–November, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Land That Time Forgot”, in The Blue Book Magazine, Chicago, Ill.: Story-press Corp., →OCLC; republished as chapter VIII, in Hugo Gernsback, editor, Amazing Stories, (please specify |part=I, II, or III), New York, N.Y.: Experimenter Publishing, 1927, →OCLC:
      Even poor Nobs appeared dejected as we quit the compound and set out upon the well-marked spoor of the abductor.
    • 1971, William S. Burroughs, The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead, page 10:
      Now he has picked up the spoor of drunken vomit and there is the doll sprawled against a wall, his pants streaked with urine.
    • 2016, Joseph Henrich, chapter 5, in The Secret of Our Success [] , Princeton: Princeton University Press, →ISBN:
      From the spoor, skilled trackers can deduce an individual's age, sex, physical condition, speed, and fatigue level, as well as the time of day it passed by.



spoor (third-person singular simple present spoors, present participle spooring, simple past and past participle spoored)

  1. (transitive) To track an animal by following its spoor





Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch spor, from Old Dutch *spor, from Proto-Germanic *spurą, from Proto-Indo-European *sperH-.


spoor n (plural sporen, diminutive spoortje n)

  1. track
  2. railway track
  3. trace
  4. spoor
  5. lead, trail, clue
Derived terms[edit]
  • Afrikaans: spoor
  • Jersey Dutch: spôr
  • Negerhollands: spoor
  • Petjo: sepoor
  • Caribbean Javanese: sepur
  • Indonesian: sepur (railway track)
  • Javanese: ꦱꦼꦥꦸꦂ (sepur)
    • Indonesian: sepur (train) (semantic loan)
  • Papiamentu: spor

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle Dutch spore, from Old Dutch *spora, variant of *sporo, from Proto-West Germanic *spurō, from Proto-Germanic *spurô, from Proto-Indo-European *sperH- (to kick).


spoor f (plural sporen, diminutive spoortje n)

  1. spur (multiple senses)
  2. spore
Derived terms[edit]

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of spore