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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /spɜː/
- (General American) IPA(key): /spɝ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)
spur (plural spurs)
- A rigid implement, often roughly y-shaped, that is fixed to one's heel for the purpose of prodding a horse. Often worn by, and emblematic of, the cowboy or the knight.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene vi], line 4:
- Lives he, good uncle? thrice within this hour I saw him down; thrice up again, and fighting; From helmet to the spur all blood he was.
- 1786, Francis Grose, “Tilting Armour”, in A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, […], London: […] S. Hooper, […], →OCLC, page 28:
- Tvvo ſorts of ſpurs ſeem to have been in uſe about the time of the Conqueſt, one called a pryck, having only a ſingle point like the gaffle of a fighting cock; the other conſiſting of a number of points of a conſiderable length, radiating from and revolving on a center, thence named the rouelle or vvheel ſpur.
- A jab given with the spurs.
- 1832, The Atheneum, volume 31, page 493:
- I had hardly said the word, when Kit jumped into the saddle, and gave his horse a whip and a spur — and off it cantered, as if it were in as great a hurry to be married as Kit himself.
- (figurative) Anything that inspires or motivates, as a spur does a horse.
- c. 1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Famous Historie of Troylus and Cresseid. […] (First Quarto), London: […] G[eorge] Eld for R[ichard] Bonian and H[enry] Walley, […], published 1609, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
- She is a theame of honour and renowne, / A ſpurre to valiant and magnanimous deeds, / Whoſe preſent courage may beate downe our foes, / And fame in time to come canonize us, [...]
- 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.
- 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
- […] the strong-bas'd promontory / Have I made shake; and by the spurs pluck'd up / The pine and cedar […]
- 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii], line 57:
- I do note / That grief and patience, rooted in them both, / Mingle their spurs together.
- (geology) 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.
- (mining) A branch of a vein.
- (rail transport) A very short branch line of a railway line.
- (transport) A short branch road of a motorway, freeway or major road.
- (botany) A short thin side shoot from a branch, especially one that bears fruit or, in conifers, the shoots that bear the leaves.
implement for prodding a horse
jab given with the spurs
anything that inspires or motivates
appendage near the foot
any protruding part
projection from a mountain or mountain range
architecture: short wooden buttress of a post
architecture: projection from the round base of a column
wall in a fortification
shipbuilding: piece of timber fixed on the bilgeways before launching
shipbuilding: curved piece of timber serving as a half to support the deck
very short branch line of a railway line
botany: A short thin side shoot from a branch
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- (transitive) To prod (especially a horse) on the side or flank, with the intent to urge motion or haste, to gig.
- c. 1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene iii], line 339:
- Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head! Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood; Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!
- (transitive) To urge or encourage to action, or to a more vigorous pursuit of an object
- c. 1601–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Twelfe Night, or What You Will”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iv], line 4:
- My desire / (More sharp than filed steel) did spur me forth...
- 1940 May, “Overseas Railways: Acceleration Proceeds in U.S.A.”, in Railway Magazine, page 298:
- But the latest Santa Fe development, while not spurring the Rock Island to any further acceleration, has drawn fire from a totally unexpected quarter.
- 2014 November 17, Roger Cohen, “The horror! The horror! The trauma of ISIS [print version: International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 9]”, in The New York Times:
- What is unbearable, in fact, is the feeling, 13 years after 9/11, that America has been chasing its tail; that, in some whack-a-mole horror show, the quashing of a jihadi enclave here only spurs the sprouting of another there; that the ideology of Al Qaeda is still reverberating through a blocked Arab world whose Sunni-Shia balance (insofar as that went) was upended by the American invasion of Iraq.
- (transitive) To put spurs on.
- to spur boots
- (intransitive) To press forward; to travel in great haste.
- To form a spur (senses 17-18 of the noun)
- 2021 June 16, Andrew Mourant, “Plans for new test centre remain on track: Testing for rolling stock and infrastructure”, in RAIL, number 933, page 42:
- It spurs off the Robin Hood line, providing ten miles of single-line test track with a three-mile double section, capable of testing up to 75mph.
to urge or encourage to action
to put spurs on
spur (plural spurs)
- A tern.
Short for spurious.
spur (plural spurs)
- (electronics) A spurious tone, one that interferes with a signal in a circuit and is often masked underneath that signal.
spur (plural spurs)
- (obsolete, dialectal) Alternative form of .
- 1625, John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, “The Elder Brother. A Comedy.”, in Fifty Comedies and Tragedies. […], [part 1], London: […] J[ohn] Macock [and H. Hills], for John Martyn, Henry Herringman, and Richard Marriot, published 1679, →OCLC, Act IV, scene iv, page 119, column 1:
- Are you come, old Maſter? Very good, your Horſe is well ſet up; but ere you part, I'll ride you, and ſpur your Reverend Juſticeſhip ſuch a queſtion, as I ſhall make the ſides of your Reputation bleed, truly I will. Now muſt I play at Bo-peep.
- 1638, Thomas Heywood, "The Rape of Lucrece. A true Roman Tragedy", in The Dramatic Works of Thomas Heywood, Vol. V, John Pearson, 1874, pages 230 & 231.
- Clo[wne]. Fie upon't, never was poore Pompey ſo overlabour'd as I have beene, I thinke I have ſpurd my horſe ſuch a queſtion, that he is ſcarce able to wig or wag his tayle for an anſwere, but my Lady bad me ſpare for no horſe fleſh, and I thinke I have made him runne his race.
- The Pall Mall Magazine, Vol. 33, 1904, page 435.
- They hadde spurred questions all the morning, his Majestie being so grossly overtaken with two whole nights' feasting, (which meant a surfeit of sausage laid upon a stomach not over strong), that between sick and sullen he bore a dull edge to the business.
- Alternative form of
spur (plural spurs)