From Middle English stirop, stirope, from Old English stiġrāp (“stirrup”), a compound of stiġe ("ascent, descent, a going up or down"; related to stīġan (“to climb”)) and rāp (“rope”), equivalent to sty + rope. Cognate with Dutch stegereep, stegelreep (“stirrup”), Old Saxon stigerēp (“stirrup”), Middle High German stereip, stegreif ("stirrup"; > German Stegreif (“improvisation”)), Icelandic stigreip (“stirrup”).
stirrup (plural stirrups)
- A ring or hoop suspended by a rope or strap from the saddle, for a horseman's foot while mounting or riding.
- (anatomy) A stapes.
- Any piece shaped like the stirrup of a saddle, used as a support, clamp, etc.
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
- Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. […] A silver snaffle on a heavy leather watch guard which connected the pockets of his corduroy waistcoat, together with a huge gold stirrup in his Ascot tie, sufficiently proclaimed his tastes.
- (nautical) A rope secured to a yard, with a thimble in its lower end for supporting a footrope.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Totten to this entry?)
stirrup (not comparable)
- Referring to women's pants, a form of trousers commonly worn by women that includes a strap beneath the arch of the foot.