Meaning of SPUR in English

I. R ˈspər, + vowel ˈspər.; - R ˈspə̄, + suffixal vowel ˈspər. also ˈspə̄r, + vowel in a following word ˈspər. or ˈspə̄ also ˈspə̄r noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English spore, spure, from Old English spora, spura; akin to Old High German sporo spur, Old Norse spori spur, Old English spurnan to kick — more at spurn


a. : a U-shaped implement with a pointed or rowel-tipped projection that is secured to the heel of a horseman for pricking, managing, or urging on the horse

b. spurs plural

[Middle English spores knighthood (as in winnen ones spores to earn knighthood by a deed of valor]

: recognition and reward for achievement

would have won his spurs had not a knee injury … put him out of the game — Rugger

these guys have earned their battle spurs — L.M.Uris

2. : an inciting force or stimulus to action : goad , incentive

he shot up fast, his spur the determination to make money and a name — E.A.Weeks

two professors were immediate spurs to trying her hand at writing — Current Biography

the book is a spur to both the intellect and the imagination — Ellen L. Buell

3. : any of various diagonally set props, braces, or members usually used in construction: as

a. : a brace (as a rafter or crossbeam) strengthening a post and some connected part : strut

b. : a reinforcing buttress of masonry


(1) : a piece of timber fixed on the bilge ways before launching with the upper ends bolted to the vessel's side

(2) : a curved piece of timber serving as a half-beam to support the deck where a whole beam cannot be placed

(3) : spur shore

4. : a growth, formation, or projection suggestive of a spur in shape or relative size: as

a. : a stiff sharp spine (as on the wings or legs of a bird or insect) ; especially : a horny modification of the skin surrounding a bony core attached to the metatarsus of a cock's leg and used in fighting — see cock illustration

b. : a bony outgrowth (as at a joint margin) : osteophyte

c. : a projecting root or short branch of a tree: as

(1) : a short branch bearing fruit buds

(2) : a branch kept short by annual pruning

a vine cut to 4 spurs

d. : a hollow projecting appendage of a corolla or calyx (as in larkspur or columbine)

5. : a sharp or pointed usually metallic object similar to a spur: as

a. : a gaff for a gamecock

b. : a climbing iron : gaff

c. : the bow ram of a warship

d. : a projection or prong on the arm of an anchor

e. : an article like a stilt resting on three points and having one pointing upward to support ceramic ware during firing

f. : the central point on an auger bit or lathe center

g. : griffe II 1

h. : the metallic point on either end of a weaving shuttle

i. : the projection of the external hammer of a gun on which the thumb presses in cocking the weapon

j. : one of two or more adjustable buttons or spikes affixed to the back of a wall clock in order to allow the pendulum to swing clear of the walls

k. : one of several clamps with points attached to the hoop of a bass drum to prevent it from rolling and to hold it off the floor

l. : a bundle of several sheets of paper hung to dry in a loft

6. : an angular projection, offshoot, or branch extending out beyond or away from a main body or formation:

a. obsolete : an outer work or salient of a fortification

b. : a ridge or lesser elevation that projects from a mountain, a range of mountains, or a higher land surface to some distance at right angles or in a lateral direction

the western edge is notched … by coves and valleys which are separated by fingerlike spurs pointing towards the northwest — American Guide Series: Tennessee

c. : a wing dam built out to deflect a river current


(1) : spur track

2. : siding 3

(3) : a side or connecting road running from a main highway or turnpike

problems … in the construction of thruway spurs — New York Times

e. : a branch of a vein of a mine

7. : spur gear

Synonyms: see motive

- on the spur of the moment

II. verb

( spurred ; spurred ; spurring ; spurs )

Etymology: Middle English sporen, spuren, from spore, spure, n.

transitive verb

1. : to prick (a horse) with spurs to go at a faster pace

spurred his horse along the crest of the ridge — Zane Grey

2. : to incite (a person or thing) to action or accelerated growth or development : urge , stimulate

general manager who is spurred by idealism — Times Literary Supplement

spurred his players to finish second — Current Biography

the war has spurred interest in the defense programs — America

the rather pallid prose … inhibits rather than spurs the imagination — J.F.Muehl

— often used with on

his own needs spur him on to invention — Ralph Linton

spurred on by attractive commissions — G.M.Stephenson

3. : to furnish with spurs

arriving all booted and spurred

4. dialect England : to support or brace with a spur : prop

5. : to cut back : prune , trim

number of main branches are spurred … to within about two inches of their base — F.D.Smith & Barbara Wilcox

intransitive verb


a. : to hurry one's horse with spurs

wheeling the white mustang, he spurred away — Zane Grey

a wounded soldier spurring from the field with news of victory — A.B.Osborne

b. : to proceed in hurried fashion : rush

spurred into the fray — S.H.Adams

2. : to strike out or fight with the foot or spur

Synonyms: see urge

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: alteration of spoor

: the track of an animal (as an otter) : spoor

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.