spear

noun (1)
\ ˈspir How to pronounce spear (audio) \

Definition of spear

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : a thrusting or throwing weapon with long shaft and sharp head or blade
2 : a sharp-pointed instrument with barbs used in spearing fish
3 : spearman

spear

verb (1)
speared; spearing; spears

Definition of spear (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to pierce, strike, or take with or as if with a spear spear salmon speared a chop from the platter
2 : to catch (something, such as a baseball) with a sudden thrust of the arm
3a ice hockey : to jab (an opposing player) with the blade of one's stick All game, the Caps held, hooked, slashed, speared, chopped, and bopped … the Rangers' European players.— Stu Hackel
b American football : to ram (an opposing player) with one's helmet … defensive end Ben Davidson set off a sidelines-clearing scrum when he speared Dawson from behind after he was down.— Jim Trotter

intransitive verb

: to thrust at or wound something with or as if with a spear

spear

adjective

Definition of spear (Entry 3 of 5)

: paternal sense 3 the spear side of the family — compare distaff

spear

verb (2)
speared; spearing; spears

Definition of spear (Entry 4 of 5)

intransitive verb

of a plant
: to thrust a spear upward

spear

noun (2)

Definition of spear (Entry 5 of 5)

: a usually young blade, shoot, or sprout (as of grass)

Other Words from spear

Verb (1)

spearer noun

First Known Use of spear

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1861, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1573, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1647, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spear

Noun (1)

Middle English spere, from Old English; akin to Old High German sper spear, Latin sparus hunting spear

Noun (2) and Verb (2)

alteration of spire entry 1

Learn More About spear

Time Traveler for spear

Time Traveler

The first known use of spear was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near spear

spean

spear

spear-carrier

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spear

Cite this Entry

“Spear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spear. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spear

spear

noun
\ ˈspir How to pronounce spear (audio) \

Kids Definition of spear

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a weapon with a long straight handle and sharp head or blade used for throwing or jabbing
2 : an instrument with a sharp point and curved hooks used in stabbing fish

spear

verb
speared; spearing

Kids Definition of spear (Entry 2 of 3)

: to strike or pierce with or as if with a spear

spear

noun

Kids Definition of spear (Entry 3 of 3)

: a usually young blade or sprout (as of grass)

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