1 of 2


spear·​head ˈspir-ˌhed How to pronounce spearhead (audio)
: the sharp-pointed head of a spear
: a leading element, force, or influence in an undertaking or development


2 of 2


spearheaded; spearheading; spearheads

transitive verb

: to serve as leader or leading element of

Examples of spearhead in a Sentence

Noun Her book was the spearhead of the clean water movement. Verb She spearheaded the campaign for better schools. The movement was spearheaded by the teachers' union.
Recent Examples on the Web
Human skulls, valuables such as a bronze spearhead, and offerings—including animal skeletons—have been found at various locations where the sun shone through the openings during the longest and shortest days of the year, according to the municipality. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 22 June 2023 The goal is to slow down any Ukrainian overland attack, giving Russian forces time to attack the mechanized spearheads with air and artillery. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 June 2023 In 2016, Suning, the Chinese retail conglomerate, paid $307 million to take a 70 percent stake in Inter, a deal that was — at the time — seen as the spearhead of China’s sudden, lavish and state-approved investment in European soccer. Tariq Panja, New York Times, 8 June 2023 In the first hour of D-day the first spearhead of Allied forces for the liberation of Europe landed by parachute in northern France. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 June 2023 The spearhead was DeSoto qualifying all three of its relay teams for state, which puts DeSoto in position to win its fifth consecutive state championship, winning previously between 2016 and 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 state meet. Dallas News, 25 Apr. 2021 Weapons, including swords and arrowheads, were found among the burials as well, including one man buried with a metal spearhead in his chest cavity, notes Stefano Vassallo, an archaeologist working for the Italian cultural authority in Palermo who was responsible for excavating many of the bones. Byandrew Curry, science.org, 3 Oct. 2022 Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime minister since 2019 and the spearhead of the 2016 Brexit campaign, resigned today. Cassie Werber, Quartz, 7 July 2022 Young many times served as a hustling spearhead for American Fork, attempting to take charges — doing so on one particularly important occasion in the last three minutes — and even being bounced around by the bigger Corner Canyon players in the paint. The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Mar. 2022
Soon after the Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Wagner deployed several thousand of its fighters to spearhead some of the most brutal assaults. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 6 Sep. 2023 Morgan Harris anchored the Lions defense, while Kaleigh Williams spearheaded the offense. Jacob Steinberg, Baltimore Sun, 5 Sep. 2023 Tracking wide-ranging animals Over the past decade, our collaborative conservation research team, spearheaded by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, has embarked on an ambitious pan-African giraffe-tracking study to better understand giraffes’ movements across these diverse landscapes. Michael Brown, Discover Magazine, 4 Sep. 2023 Two former leaders of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group were sentenced to more than a decade each in prison Thursday for spearheading a riot at the U.S. Capitol to try to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 presidential election. Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 1 Sep. 2023 One issue, spearheaded by editor Kamille Whittaker, who is among the employees who resigned this month, focused on Caribbean communities and culture in Atlanta. Laura Wagner, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2023 The team is one of three confirmed to play in The Golf League (TGL), a new sports venture spearheaded by Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods that will kick off in early 2024 and already has the support of the PGA Tour. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 30 Aug. 2023 Junior Charlie Martin, who scored four goals in the section final, also has returned this season to help spearhead the attack. Glae Thien, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Aug. 2023 The baritone, Guy Hayward, is head of the British Pilgrimage Trust, a nonprofit that is spearheading a secular revival of these traditional journeys. Catherine Fairweather, Travel + Leisure, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spearhead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spearhead was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near spearhead

Cite this Entry

“Spearhead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spearhead. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
spear·​head -ˌhed How to pronounce spearhead (audio)
: the head or point of a spear
: a person, thing, or group that is the leading force (as in a development or attack)


2 of 2 verb
: to serve as leader of
spearhead a campaign for better schools

More from Merriam-Webster on spearhead

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