spearhead

noun
spear·​head | \ ˈspir-ˌhed How to pronounce spearhead (audio) \

Definition of spearhead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the sharp-pointed head of a spear
2 : a leading element, force, or influence in an undertaking or development

spearhead

verb
spearheaded; spearheading; spearheads

Definition of spearhead (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to serve as leader or leading element of

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Synonyms for spearhead

Synonyms: Verb

boss, captain, command, head, lead

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 27-year-old was the spearhead to Leicester's title winning season in 2016, alongside England forward Jamie Vardy. SI.com, "Man City Target Spotted in Manchester & Undergoes Medical Ahead of Big-Money Transfer," 10 July 2018 In response to the Crimea annexation, NATO created a 5,000-troop spearhead force that can deploy to trouble spots within days. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, "NATO, Under Fire From Trump, to Trumpet Its Heightened Readiness," 6 July 2018 Pompeo, who is helping spearhead conversations ahead of a possible summit with North Korea next month, met with Kim for dinner Wednesday night. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Pompeo speaks to press after meeting with North Korea official — live updates," 31 May 2018 Weapons like spearheads, swords, shield fragments, iron knives and an axe were also uncovered. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Ancient human bones are proof of 'barbarian' war rituals 2,000 years ago in Europe," 21 May 2018 So the motorcycles range out in front of the armored spearheads, in front of the airpower looking for weaknesses in the enemy lines. Fox News, "What threats face America's electrical grid?," 23 Apr. 2018 The spearheads themselves appear to have been made both with local materials, such as flint, and resources imported from hundreds of miles away. Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek, "Hundreds of 12,000-year-old Spearheads and Arrowheads Found in Peru by Archaeologists," 14 Mar. 2018 The ancient spearheads will now be analyzed to determine the techniques used to manufacture them before going on display at the Regional Museum of Ica. Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek, "Hundreds of 12,000-year-old Spearheads and Arrowheads Found in Peru by Archaeologists," 14 Mar. 2018 Archaeologists have discovered more than 150 ancient spearheads in the south of Peru, dating between 9,000 and 12,000 years old. Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek, "Hundreds of 12,000-year-old Spearheads and Arrowheads Found in Peru by Archaeologists," 14 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Corporations are spraying pesticides that harm the soil, spearheading irrigation projects that devastate river beds, and decreasing the number of natural resources available to communities that rely upon them. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "A Brazilian Modeling Superstar Makes a Life-Changing Journey Into the Amazon," 7 Mar. 2019 In 2016, as the BBC notes, Toby Harris, a British politician in the Labour Party, spearheaded an independent review looking into London’s preparedness in the event of a terrorist attack. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "Mysterious drones near UK’s Gatwick Airport have shut down runways for almost 24 hours," 20 Dec. 2018 Sky News reported recently that two detectives from Scotland Yard’s super recognizers squad were spearheading the search for the suspects. James Rogers, Fox News, "Police 'super-recognizers' helped ID suspects in Novichok poisoning of ex-spy," 6 Sep. 2018 Starting from a young age, the prince has since accomplished so much for mentoring programs across the U.K, supporting children living with HIV/AIDS, and spearheading several conservation projects to protect Africa's wildlife and local communities. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Prince Harry's Dorm Had a Tribute to Princess Diana That Everyone Missed," 31 Aug. 2018 That's an average of 17,003 times per day, giving rise to a new form of activism spearheaded through social media and technology. Editors, USA TODAY, "Trump visits Queen Elizabeth II, Wimbledon semifinals, Supermoon Solar Eclipse: 5 things to know Friday," 13 July 2018 Yet scientific work being spearheaded by Lewis’ team at the Field Museum is finding increasing opportunities for changes in urban land use that will support pollinator habitat, and perhaps help change the trajectory of the monarchs’ decline. Cindy Dampier, chicagotribune.com, "Why Chicago might be the best place to save the monarch butterfly," 13 July 2018 So, applying her postgraduate degree in sports marketing from USC, Hill established the California State Games in San Diego, and she’s been spearheading it ever since. Glae Thien, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's Cal State Games turning 30," 12 July 2018 An opposing camp spearheaded by France cautions against rushing under pressure from Washington. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "EU’s Trade Surplus With U.S., a Bone of Contention for Trump, Hits Record," 15 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spearhead.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spearhead

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1937, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spearhead

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

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More Definitions for spearhead

spearhead

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spearhead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person, thing, or group that organizes or leads something (such as a movement or attack)

spearhead

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spearhead (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be the leader of (something, such as a political movement)

spearhead

noun
spear·​head | \ ˈspir-ˌhed How to pronounce spearhead (audio) \

Kids Definition of spearhead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the head or point of a spear
2 : the person, thing, or group that is the leading force (as in a development or an attack)

spearhead

verb
spearheaded; spearheading

Kids Definition of spearhead (Entry 2 of 2)

: to serve as leader of She spearheaded a campaign for change.

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