noun \ˈspər\

: a sharp pointed object that is attached to the heel of a horse rider's boot and that is pressed into the horse's side to make the horse go faster

: something that makes you want to do something or that causes something to happen

: a mass of sharp rock on the side of a mountain

Full Definition of SPUR

a :  a pointed device secured to a rider's heel and used to urge on the horse
b plural [from the acquisition of spurs by a person achieving knighthood] :  recognition and reward for achievement <won his academic spurs as the holder of a chair in a university — James Mountford>
:  a goad to action :  stimulus
:  something projecting like or suggesting a spur: as
a :  a projecting root or branch of a tree, shrub, or vine
b (1) :  a stiff sharp spine (as on the wings or legs of a bird or insect); especially :  one on a cock's leg
(2) :  a gaff for a gamecock
c :  a hollow projecting appendage of a corolla or calyx (as in larkspur or columbine)
d :  a bony outgrowth (as on the heel of the foot)
e :  climbing iron
a :  an angular projection, offshoot, or branch extending out beyond or away from a main body or formation; especially :  a ridge or lesser elevation that extends laterally from a mountain or mountain range
b :  a railroad track that branches off from a main line
:  a reinforcing buttress of masonry in a fortification
on the spur of the moment
:  on impulse :  suddenly

Examples of SPUR

  1. <the threat of losing its only sports franchise was the spur the city council needed to finally do something about the rising crime rate>
  2. <a weak wall that might need a spur>

Origin of SPUR

Middle English spure, from Old English spura; akin to Old English spurnan to kick — more at spurn
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Equestrian Terms

canter, cantle, curry, farrier, hunter, paddock, router, skirt, tack



: to encourage (someone) to do or achieve something

: to cause (something) to happen or to happen more quickly

: to urge (a horse) to go faster by pushing spurs into its sides


Full Definition of SPUR

transitive verb
:  to urge (a horse) on with spurs
:  to incite to action or accelerated growth or development :  stimulate
:  to put spurs on
intransitive verb
:  to spur one's horse on

Examples of SPUR

  1. The reward spurred them to work harder.
  2. Lower interest rates should spur economic growth.
  3. He spurred the horse onward.

First Known Use of SPUR

13th century


noun \ˈspər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SPUR

:  a sharp and especially bony outgrowth (as on the heel of the foot)
spurred \ˈspərd\ adjective
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
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