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 urgency of keeping it from spreading further ought to be the spur for making fungal research a priority. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Desperate Race to Neutralize a Lethal Superbug Yeast," 13 Aug. 2019 The Lake Link Trail is a spur of the 101-mile Towpath Trail, nearing completion in Cleveland in 2021, and part of a growing regional network connecting Cleveland to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Big progress announced for Irishtown Bend stabilization and future park with skyline views," 19 July 2019 Europe has seen inflation expectations plunge in recent weeks, which is another spur for Mr. Draghi to act. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Markets Weigh Up Draghi Versus Trump," 18 June 2019 Fun fact: Riders will likely see various spur trails along the Nelson Loop. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 Focus on widening your social network as November arrives, but wait for a while before making spur-of-the-moment expenditures. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 16, 2019: Happy birthday Alexis Bledel; Gemini, steer clear of the spotlight," 16 Sep. 2019 But, when the Northern Pacific laid a spur from the east-west line to pick up cattle and grain, Wide Spot boomed, became the county seat. Thomas Mcguane, The New Yorker, "Wide Spot," 16 Sep. 2019 Plans for tariffs of zero percent on petrol imports could close two oil refineries, cause the loss of 2,000 jobs, spur strikes, and further disrupt fuel supplies. Hannah Knowles, BostonGlobe.com, "Leaked memo says Britain faces economic, social chaos if it goes through with a ‘no-deal Brexit’," 18 Aug. 2019 Mendoza said the gravel pit where they were found is off the 4615 Road and the 130 spur in the Mount Hood National Forest. oregonlive.com, "Bodies found near Estacada were in gravel pit used for shooting, police say," 13 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those signals have also spurred more criticism of the Fed from President Donald Trump, who in a break from historical precedent has badgered Mr. Powell to cut rates more steeply. CBS News, "Federal Reserve expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday," 17 Sep. 2019 Technological advancements in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have spurred the boom. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Why the U.S. is less dependent than ever on Saudi oil," 16 Sep. 2019 The ethno-nationalist backlash in most industrial Western powers has spurred the rise of an eco-fascist ideology—the same one cited in the online manifesto by the gunman in the mass shooting of 2019 in El Paso, Texas. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The Blood-Dimmed Tide," 16 Sep. 2019 The Internet joke that went viral has spurred two rural Nevada counties to draft an emergency declaration, with local law enforcement planning to team resources with the state and neighboring counties ahead of Sept. 20-22 events. Fox News, "'Storm Area 51' creator leaves alien-themed festival in shakeup over safety concerns, fear of 'Fyre Fest 2.0'," 10 Sep. 2019 Proponents, and corporate press materials, rave about the shocking designs and extensive technologies of these extreme supercars, but their proliferation has simultaneously spurred the customary cadre of critics. Hannah Elliottbloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Have we hit peak supercar?," 9 Sep. 2019 The lack of government responsiveness has spurred a surprising array of Hong Kongers to join pro-democracy protesters. The Christian Science Monitor, "Giving brushoffs the brushoff," 5 Sep. 2019 In a 26-year career as an investigative journalist, Claudia Duque’s reporting has spurred opening of criminal cases against army members and political and judicial workers. Wired, "One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 3 Sep. 2019 By Thursday, #PrayForAmazonas had spurred momentum for a spin-off hashtag: #ActForAmazonas. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "What the Amazon fires mean for wild animals," 23 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for spur

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for spur

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

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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 spurred (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on spur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spur

Spanish Central: Translation of spur

Nglish: Translation of spur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spur for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spur

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