\ ˈspu̇r How to pronounce spoor (audio) , ˈspȯr \
plural spoor or spoors

Definition of spoor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a track, a trail, a scent, or droppings especially of a wild animal
2 : a trace by which the progress of someone or something may be followed


spoored; spooring; spoors

Definition of spoor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to track by a spoor

intransitive verb

: to track something by its spoor

Examples of spoor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Twitter, people speak scoffingly of canceling themselves, as a joke or a pre-emptive measure, since presumably any of us could be canceled at any time, living in our glass Instagrams, leaving a spoor of digitized gaffes behind us. New York Times, "The Long and Tortured History of Cancel Culture," 3 Dec. 2020 Snow had fallen less than an hour ago, and this spoor is on top of it. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, "Elk Hunting a Secret Public-Land Spot in the Utah Backcountry," 17 Jan. 2020 The previous method used spoor (paw prints, also called pugmarks, and scat), which often led to the same animal being counted multiple times. National Geographic, "How Many Tigers Are There Really? A Conservation Mystery," 20 Apr. 2016 On top goes chaat masala, a collage of spices haunted by the smoky spoor of black salt; amchur, tart green mango powder; and asafetida, with its faint evocation of meat. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Mumbai Xpress, a Good Reason to Stray for a Snack," 25 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spoor.' 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 spoor


1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1850, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for spoor


Afrikaans, from Dutch; akin to Old English spor footprint, spoor, spurnan to kick — more at spurn entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Spoor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spoor. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spoor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spoor

Nglish: Translation of spoor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spoor

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