spur

noun
\ ˈspər How to pronounce spur (audio) \

Definition of spur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a pointed device secured to a rider's heel and used to urge on the horse
b spurs 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
2 : a goad to action : stimulus
3 : something projecting like or suggesting a spur: such 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)
4a : 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
5 : a reinforcing buttress of masonry in a fortification
on the spur of the moment
: on impulse : suddenly

spur

verb
spurred; spurring

Definition of spur (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to urge (a horse) on with spurs
2 : to incite to action or accelerated growth or development : stimulate
3 : to put spurs on

intransitive verb

: to spur one's horse on

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Choose the Right Synonym for spur

Noun

motive, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad mean a stimulus to action. motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act. a motive for the crime impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution. buying on impulse incentive applies to an external influence (such as an expected reward) inciting to action. a bonus was offered as an incentive inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another. offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor. fear was a spur to action goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire. thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency

Examples of spur in a Sentence

Noun the threat of losing its only sports franchise was the spur the city council needed to finally do something about the rising crime rate a weak wall that might need a spur Verb The reward spurred them to work harder. Lower interest rates should spur economic growth. He spurred the horse onward.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The towers at 7115 Greentree Road, between the Beltway and the western leg of the Interstate 270 spur, sit on valuable land — the site sold for $74.1 million — in Washington’s close-in suburbs. Washington Post, "Demolition of Bethesda radio towers will take a piece of history, rare open space," 3 Nov. 2020 So, while the Mets were restarting spring training at Citi Field instead of Port St. Lucie due to the pandemic, Baretta tried a spur-of-the-moment gambit from his couch. Bradford William Davis, courant.com, "How a small Queens deli won over the Mets," 31 Dec. 2020 When the government went after AT&T in the 1970s for its monopolistic practices, the settlement of the case resulted in a huge spur to innovation, a stimulus for the telecommunications industry, and a redistribution of wealth all at once. Zephyr Teachout, The New Republic, "A Blueprint for a Trust-Busting Biden Presidency," 18 Dec. 2020 Most equities markets in the Middle East advanced as investors looked to the rollout of mass vaccination programs for a fresh spur to prices. Filipe Pacheco, Bloomberg.com, "Mideast Stocks Rise as Vaccine Rollout Buoys Mood: Inside EM," 13 Dec. 2020 Following the quick television spot, Kenyon headed home to tell his family, who weren't aware of his spur-of-the-moment decision, the news. TheWeek, "Watch this incredibly wholesome interview with a British man who just got the coronavirus vaccine," 8 Dec. 2020 The Mustangs, led by junior playmaker Caleb Texada and his 14 touchdowns, posted a nice win over Justin Northwest, but struggled in a spur-of-the-moment game against Lancaster near the end of the season. DeMeyer: Grapevine. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "2020 UIL high school football playoff 6A, 5A predictions: Best first-round matchups, dark horses and regional winners," 8 Dec. 2020 It is located on the John Muir Trail roughly between the brink of Nevada Fall and the spur for Half Dome; get a wilderness permit that matches up with the dates of your Half Dome Permit. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Everything you need to know to climb Yosemite’s Half Dome in 2021," 26 Nov. 2020 The left fork heads up to the Tri-Metals Mine while the right spur continues downhill on the Black Canyon Trail to the well. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, "Off the beaten path: This Arizona hike unfolds with views and historical artifacts," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Donohue said the chamber was ready to work with President-elect Joe Biden’s administration and the 117th Congress on a package to spur infrastructure projects as well as on immigration matters. al, "US Chamber of Commerce may cut political donations after riot," 13 Jan. 2021 But Hirst still found ways to showcase Ragnar’s exceptional cunning and fortitude by showing that the devious Viking orchestrated his own death to spur his sons into uniting together to seek revenge. Sadie Gennis, Vulture, "Vikings’ Most Memorable Deaths, As Chosen by Its Creator," 11 Jan. 2021 Yet other types can spur cells to strengthen their defenses against viruses. New York Times, "Doctors Are Skeptical of Pricey Drug Given Emergency Approval for Covid," 4 Dec. 2020 This can spur dialogue about science but, with serious side effects. Liv Grjebine, Scientific American, "Why Doubt Is Essential to Science," 9 Oct. 2020 In a country with a tradition of emigration, any decrease in living standards or quality of life can spur a further exodus of the most talented, who have, in their EU passports, a right to move to richer nations. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Viktor Orban’s Mandate," 20 Aug. 2020 To help spur interest among major retailers, Schriber said his company would like to redo the courtyard with 17,000 square feet of retail shops fronting the shopping center and tuck a self-storage facility behind. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, "No zoning change for Naperville shopping center with storage center, but council open to other ideas," 11 Dec. 2020 The announcement of the 2021 schedule could help to spur decisions from Orlando players currently abroad. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Pride to kick off 2021 NWSL season in mid-April," 18 Nov. 2020 Among the first laws passed under the Obama administration, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided for $787 billion in education, health care, infrastructure and renewable energy investments to help spur the economy. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Unemployment rate fell for African Americans during Obama administration," 11 Nov. 2020

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

Noun

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for spur

Noun

Middle English spure, from Old English spura; akin to Old English spurnan to kick — more at spurn entry 1

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Time Traveler for spur

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spur

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spur. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for spur

spur

noun
How to pronounce spur (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

spur

verb

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

: 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

spur

noun
\ ˈspər How to pronounce spur (audio) \

Kids Definition of spur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pointed device fastened to the back of a rider's boot and used to urge a horse on
2 : something that makes a person want to do something : incentive
3 : a mass of jagged rock coming out from the side of a mountain
4 : a short section of railway track coming away from the main line
5 : a usually short pointed growth or projecting part (as a spine on the leg of a rooster)
on the spur of the moment
: without thinking for a long time We decided to go on the spur of the moment.
Hint: Spur-of-the-moment is often used as an adjective. a spur-of-the-moment decision

Other Words from spur

spurred \ ˈspərd \ adjective

spur

verb
spurred; spurring

Kids Definition of spur (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to urge a horse on with spurs
2 : incite A promised reward spurred them to work.

spur

noun
\ ˈspər How to pronounce spur (audio) \

Medical Definition of spur

1 : a projection from an anatomical part : calcar
2 : bone spur painful heel spurs

Other Words from spur

spurred \ ˈspərd How to pronounce spur (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on spur

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